September 14, 2007
The FAFSA Form is Not The Enemy
According to a recent New York Times article, one in 5 students eligible for a Federal Student Loan passes it up to get a Private Loan (paid subscription may be needed to view the entire article).
Now, that article speculates on why this is happening. I’m going to ignore their article, and discuss why I, personally, believe it’s happening. And really, it all boils down to one over-arching category:
Students don’t want to fill out the FAFSA.
I mean, look at it from an 18-year-old’s point of view. They have probably never done their own taxes. Now on this form they’re being asked about net and gross income. It’s also very lengthy – and just as painful as doing taxes.
And let’s face it – your average 18 year old is rather lazy. I was. My husband was. Most of our friends were. When faced with a very scary form that affects our future, but that we totally do NOT understand – well, I suppose it’s fight or flight instinct at that point.
Perhaps I’m over-simplifying matters, but look at the millions of dollars in scholarship money that goes unclaimed each year because students don’t apply.