When Cameron Sadler began his college journey, he battled the continuous pressure of wondering how he will pay for his education.
“For me, scholarships are like, it’s pretty much the only reason I can go to college,” Sadler, sophomore in music education, said.
Every year, students at K-State can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This determines a student’s financial needs when paying for college.
Improvements are coming to the 2024-2025 FAFSA, called the FAFSA Simplification Act. According to the Office of Student Financial Assistance website, a new Student Aid Index replaced the Estimated Family Contribution, meaning a different measure of a student’s and family’s ability to pay for college will be used.
Tanya McGee, associate director of student financial assistance, said FAFSA is now looking at a combination of a student’s family size, total income and poverty guidelines.
McGee said another notable change is the “simplification” of the online application process.
“As far as a system, like the website that you log into, it’s certainly going to look different, feel different,” McGee said. “There’s also going to be a reduced number of questions. From what I understand, maybe you were asked 100 questions in the past and now it’s down to like 36.”
Robert Gamez, director of student financial assistance, said there is an anticipated increase in the number of students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant in the 2024-2025 school year.
According to the Federal Student Aid website, Pell Grants are “awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s graduate, or professional degree.”
Sadler said being eligible for the Pell Grant and receiving aid has brought him relief.
“It definitely takes weight off the shoulders because now I’m able to focus more on academics and not worrying about, well, ‘Where am I going to live?’ ‘What am I going to eat?’ ‘Am I going to be able to afford paying for things in classes?’” Sadler said.
Gamez said one of the important things to note with the “new revamped FAFSA” is the application date.
“If students don’t make that March 1 priority date, they can still apply after, but we can’t at that point guarantee that we could consider them for the Land Grant Promise depending on what the demand is,” Gamez said.
Students who need assistance or have questions about the new FAFSA form can contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at email@example.com or visit their office at 119 Anderson Hall.