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IYI: Navigating College Student Aid: the (new) Better FAFSA
November 9 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm UTC+0
Thanks to a new Indiana law, starting this year, Hoosier high school seniors will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A goal of the law, which was signed last April, is to ensure that students better understand and can access all the funding available to those who are headed to college. The share of Hoosier students heading to college has declined to 53%, and our workforce needs educated graduates. Accessing financial support for postsecondary education can help both our students and the state’s future economy.
College is costly, and families and students can use every benefit to help make higher education more accessible. For millions of American students and their families, FAFSA is a crucial financial aid tool. By serving as the gateway to a range of federal and state grants, loans, and work-study programs, it makes higher education more accessible. This year marks the introduction of a new and improved application process that is being called “Better FAFSA.”
Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) is partnering with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) to provide local FAFSA trainings across the state that will walk through the new updates and guidelines. Everyone working with high school students is invited to attend and learn about the evolving higher education landscape in Indiana, empowering student success, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders for a brighter educational future.
Local Youth Worker Café (in-person):
- 10/17/2023 ICHE: Better FAFSA, 21st Century Scholar Overview – Vanderburgh County
- 10/19/2023 ICHE: Better FAFSA & 21st Century Scholars Overview – Lake County
- 10/24/2023 ICHE: Better FAFSA & 21st Century Overview – Marion County
- 11/8/2023 ICHE: Better FAFSA & 21st Century Overview – Allen County
- 12/13/2023 ICHE: Better FAFSA and Local Scholarship Opportunities – Miami County
Completing the FAFSA has never been easy, and we hope that the recent changes will reduce some of the complexity. At the same time the benefits of completing the FAFSA are clear, and include:
- Access to Financial Aid
- State-Based Aid
- Institutional Scholarships
- Work-Study Opportunities
- Enhanced Financial Planning
Completing the FAFSA can provide families with a clearer picture of their expected family contribution (EFC) and the overall cost of education. This information allows students and their families to make informed decisions about financing their education, including whether to pursue federal loans, seek scholarships, or consider alternative educational paths.
Navigating FAFSA challenges requires careful planning and attention to detail, but the potential benefits make it a crucial step in the pursuit of higher education for many of our students and their families. Efforts to simplify the FAFSA process and improve its accessibility can help ensure that deserving students receive the financial support they need to achieve their educational goals. IYI’s upcoming trainings with ICHE will address these challenges, equipping educators, youth workers, and families with the information to help students build an affordable path to postsecondary success.
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