MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – Monday, October 1 is the first day college-bound students can apply for FAFSA, and this year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is going mobile and making the process easier than ever.
For the first time ever, potential college students can fill out the FAFSA on a mobile app.
According to the National College Access Network, only 61-percent of high school students apply leaving more than 24-billion dollars in state and federal aid on the table.
This year, the education department is making the process a lot smoother. The form is now available through the brand new myStudentAid app.
Officials hope the app with make it easier for the nearly 19 million students who file a FAFSA every year, particularly students from low-income backgrounds who may not have a computer or high-speed internet access at home.
The FAFSA website is also sporting a new mobile-friendly design that’s easier to use on a smartphone or tablet.
But here’s one thing that hasn’t changed: the number of questions. You can still expect to answer all 100 of them. However, the Department of Education says it has arranged them differently to help you navigate through the website.
Assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis so experts recommend forms be submitted as early as possible.
They also say the changes will likely encourage students to fill out the form themselves instead of asking their parents.
Current and prospective college students have until the last day of the academic year to submit their FAFSA.
Anyone who wants to access the billions of dollars of federal financial aid awarded each year—including grants, loans, and work study—has to complete the FAFSA.
Deadlines vary depending on your state and college deadlines.
If you need help filing out the FAFSA, the Department of Education is one of the best places to go for help. Here’s this year’s guide to filling out the form. The National College Access Network also has a step-by-step guide.
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