During CCE Month, students and families can attend free workshops at their high school or public locations in their community to fill out college applications and/or complete their FAFSAs
with direct assistance from college and financial aid experts.
For example, students are encouraged to fill out their FAFSAs
and apply for other grants to stretch these programs further, says Kisker.
Then I add that it's okay if Maddie wants to be normal, wants to complain about Physics and visit colleges and worry about SATS and FAFSAS
, wants to keep swimming in that bounded, placid stress, the stress she knows: her term paper, some boy, the subway coming late.
Mark Warner, director of student financial aid at University of Iowa, said he has seen an increase in the number of people filing forms known as FAFSAs
, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to help defray college costs.
For example, working with Eric Bettinger, Philip Oreopoulos, and Lisa Sanbonmatsu, I developed a project in which tax preparers help low-income families complete their FAFSAs
. The intervention streamlined the aid application process and students' access to accurate and personalized higher educational information.
Every year, more than 20 million FAFSAs
are submitted, resulting in over $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to help pay for college or career schools.
Moreover, this increase in filing, combined with a 12.4 percent drop in applications rejected during that period, resulted in a 34.1 percent increase of completed FAFSAs
. Further research will be necessary to determine whether lower-income families took advantage of early filing.
NerdWallet estimated that college freshmen left about $2.7 billion untouched in 2014 because they didn't submit their FAFSAs
. The average person who would have been eligible for financial aid but missed out would have received $1,861 to help pay their school costs.
"Congress can immediately correct this problem and help the department better identify potential FAFSA
income falsification by amending the Internal Revenue Code to allow the department to match the information provided on FAFSAs
with the income data that is maintained by the Internal Revenue Service," Higgins suggested.
This information should not only be in brochures and on the web, but also part of each recruiter's "tool kit." Similarly, information on how to apply for aid should not only be on the website, but should be communicated directly to prospective students shortly after the first of the year when the new FAFSAs
"During our early application period, we had almost 20,000 FAFSAs