September 25, 2007
Students urged to fill out FAFSA online
The Providence Journal is reporting that the US Department of Education will no longer be mailing a paper copy of the FAFSA form, and will instead encourage people to fill it out online.
Students urged to fill out financial aid forms online
01:00 AM EDT on Friday, September 21, 2007
Citing a need to reduce cost and waste, the U.S. Department of Education has announced it will no longer mail out millions of copies of the paper version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA.
Instead, the department is encouraging prospective college students and their families to file the application electronically, as about 94 percent of applicants nationally do already.
In Rhode Island, about 92 percent of 37,812 students last year filled out their forms online, said Marisol Garcia, communications director of the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority.
“We encourage them to apply online anyway, because it is more secure, it is quicker, and it has built in edits that help the student fill out the form and avoid mistakes, so it’s very user-friendly,” Garcia said.
The Education Department’s federal student aid division will continue to send out paper worksheets to schools that request them. The worksheets, which are optional, are intended to help students and families organize information and financial data needed for the FAFSA.
The state’s higher education assistance authority will also have paper worksheets available at the free workshops it offers throughout the state. The workshops are designed to help families and students navigate the complex process of applying for student loans and grants, Garcia said. The next workshop is scheduled for January.
Students can request up to three copies of the paper application by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).