The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

FAFSA changes for the upcoming school year

Elizabeth Van Liew

Unlike previous years that have been released on Oct. 1, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 academic year will be released on an unknown date in December 2023 because the federal government is changing the FAFSA form to make it easier for students to apply for financial aid. 

In a conversation with Director of Financial Aid, Diane Usher and Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Gina Rigby they both said that with the changes coming to the FAFSA, an extremely small number of students will actually be affected by the changes. 

“Less than 25 students out of 4,000 will be affected here at Roger Williams, so it won’t be a significant amount of students…The good thing at Roger Williams is that we guarantee you your Roger Williams aid for all four years,” said Usher. 

The FAFSA will see a dramatic decrease in the number of questions asked with the form going from 140 questions to 49, and no one student will have to answer all 49 questions, said Rigby.

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Rigby also said the new FAFSA will be, “more student driven,” as the student will need to begin the FAFSA before they are able to invite their contributor (parent, guardian, etc.)  to fill out their portions of the FAFSA. 

The most significant change to the FAFSA will be that it will not take into account if a family has multiple students in college in the same year, said Usher. 

For example, this year, if [a family] had more than one student in college, the contribution from the FAFSA would be divided by the number of students in college. So, if your contribution for example was 30,000, at the time, your contribution for each child would be 10,000. Next year however, that would not be divided and your contribution for each child would be 30,000,” said Usher.  

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will also make more students eligible for Pell Grants that have not received them this year, said Rigby. 

Also, there will not be an option to opt out of linking documents from the IRS, which will result in the RWU Financial Aid office needing to ask for less documents since they are coming straight from the IRS. Students and parents will be asked to consent before the IRS sends any documents, said Rigby. 

To maximize their financial aid, students who lost money would work with their financial counselor to evaluate all options available to them including scholarships, said Usher. 

The Financial Aid Office will be having an open house on Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and encourages all students to visit, enter raffles, and pick up scholarship applications. 

“Our goal is to make the [financial aid] office a place where students feel comfortable coming to,” concluded Rigby. 


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About the Contributors
Lily Neves
Lily Neves, News Editor
Lily has been the News Editor for the Hawks Herald since the Fall of 2023. She enjoys keeping the campus updated on the current events around campus. Lily is a Legal Studies and Political Science double major. Outside of the newsroom, Lily enjoys grabbing coffee with friends, working out, and watching sunsets.
Elizabeth Van Liew
Elizabeth Van Liew, Chief Designer
Lizzie is the Chief Designer of the Hawks' Herald. She is a Graphic Design major and plans to minor in Marketing. On campus she is also Secretary of the Design Club and works in the design lab as part of the Design Collective. For fun she enjoys reading stories, writing them and baking.

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