Though his days in office are numbered, President Obama rolled out a new piece of legislation this week during a speech in Des Moines, Iowa.

In order to make it easier for prospective college students apply for financial aid, President Obama announced a series of minor amendments to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program.

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In past years, in some cases, the FAFSA has not become available until after the college application deadline. Because of this, some students do not know what kind of financial aid package they may be getting until after they've committed to applying to a school. Additionally, the current application process requires the student to submit tax information from the prior year, which isn't always available until after many college deadlines.

Beginning in October 2016, though, the new plan will go into place and streamline the process for students and colleges alike. The amended FAFSA lets the applicant submit tax data from two years prior. This may encourage more students to apply for more colleges, as knowing whether or not they can afford to go to a school becomes known much earlier in the process.

In an interview with ELN, Patrick Murphy, Elon University's director of financial planning, said that the new changes shouldn't change life for most Elon students, or even applicants. He went on to explain that the new changes are most relevant to those applying to community colleges and large state universities, whose tuition is determined by legislation.

 


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