This could be a “small consolation” for families affected by the elimination of the sibling break, Draeger admitted. “I don’t want to be numb,” he said, but the result of the policy change is a formula that “treats families in similar circumstances more fairly”.
Getting rid of the sibling bump also makes it possible to create a simple chart that families can use to verify that they qualify for Pell grants, according to a statement from the association. Taking into account the number of students in college would have made it “impractical,” it said.
The education department had no immediate comment.
Here are some questions and answers about the new FAFSA:
When will the changes to the FAFSA take effect?
The changes will affect the form for the 2023-24 academic year. This means that students and families will see the changes in the FAFSA, which will be available on October 1, 2022.
What if multiple kids in college are a strain on my budget?
FAFSA will continue to ask how many children in the family are attending college even if the information is not included in the auxiliary formula. This is based on an online summary provided by the office of Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington and a co-sponsor of the Simplification Bill.
Families can use the information to seek additional help from the college’s grant officers, although it is unclear how that will be done, Kantrowitz said.
What about universities that use another form, the CSS profile, to provide financial support?
In addition to the FAFSA, many private, more expensive colleges require students to submit the CSS profile, short for the College Scholarship Service Profile, which is administered by the College Board. It is a more detailed form for university grant allocation. The CSS Profile may offer more help to families with multiple children in college, and it is unclear if it will change its approach to keep up with the FAFSA.
College board spokeswoman Jaslee Carayol said she had “closely monitored” the impact of the legislation on the grant application process and was awaiting guidance from the education department.
“The CSS profile will continue to allow families to share their full financial history so schools can distribute their institutional aid fairly on sound economic principles,” she said.