Major change coming to FAFSA filing process

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s a major change in the process of applying for financial aid for college.

The change will affect future students at every college around the country. The government says the change will get the financial aid process started earlier.

The White House says Monday President Barack Obama will announce that students and families filling out the free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA form, can do it three months earlier. So, instead of having to wait until January, students will be able to start filling it out in October.

Students will also be able to use their family’s tax return information from two years before, rather than having to wait until January when your tax information is sent to you. The new rules all start next October.

The government says nationwide, student loans now total some $1.2 trillion. That makes them the second largest form of household debt after mortgages.

The White House says colleges, universities and scholarship organizations have already committed to align their aid timelines with the earlier federal application process.

In his speech Monday, the president will also renew his call on Congress to pass legislation to simplify FAFSA by getting rid of up to 30 questions that Obama claims have little impact on aid eligibility.

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