Federal student financial aid program sees changes

Sophia Oswald

As this semester begins, so do worries regarding how to pay for college. Many students are affected by FAFSA and it can be stressful to deal with.

“Approximately 60 percent of our undergraduate population receives some form of financial aid,” said Kandace Mars, associate director of financial aid.

There a few things involving FAFSA that students should be looking out for this semester, primarily the the log-in procedure and when application dates are due. In the past, students have used a Federal Student Aid PIN to log in, but this will soon be replaced with an FSA ID that they must set up themselves.

Students can create their FSA ID by using their previous FSA PIN in the set up process on a FSA website. The PIN is not required when setting up a new ID, but it will help in the long run by linking your previous information.

The Financial Aid Office and Student One Stop are hosting an event in Morgan Hall on Feb. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Financial Aid Office will hold a scholarship drawing for those students that attend this event,” Mars said. “Two students will win $500 scholarships for the Fall 2016 semester.”

There has recently been talk of the application due dates changing, but it is confirmed that they are not and are remaining the same for the 2016-2017 academic year.

“The 2016-2017 FAFSA application became available on Jan. 1 and Washburn University’s priority date for 2016-2017 remains the same as in years past as Feb. 15,” Mars said.

According to Mars, students who do not complete FAFSA find themselves limited on the types of financial aid they may qualify for.

Mars noted that students often miss out on the priority date due to waiting for their taxes to be filed.

“The priority date is important, as it is used to determine priority of awards for the school’s more limited campus-based funding, which is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible students,” Mars said. “Many students are unaware that they can actually file the FAFSA using estimates. Students and/or their parents may estimate their income on their initial FAFSA renewal application for 2016-2017 and then correct the application once they and/or their parents’ 2015 taxes have been filed.”