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FAFSA due date moves up to October

Alex Berman, Staff Writer

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Students applying for financial aid through the federal government will have shorter deadlines to turn in all the required documents, according to a new press release from the White House.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid deadline will be pushed up by two months, effective starting in 2016, according to the statement.

According to the press release, the changes made to FAFSA will make financial aid more accessible to a wider demographic of students.

Moving the deadline from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1 the year before will also allow applicants to understand their eligibility for financial aid as early as the fall semester, the statement said.

The date change will align more conveniently with tax return dates, allowing students and families to complete their FAFSA using information directly retrieved from the IRS. This change will reduce the likelihood that students and their families will need to estimate income or taxes paid, according to the statement.

In addition to the new deadline, the new online form for FAFSA will also allow applicants to skip questions not relevant to their families.

According to the press release, applicants take about 20 minutes to fill out the FAFSA, one-third of the time it took to fill out the application seven years ago.

The press release said that the changes to FAFSA could possibly encourage hundreds of thousands of new students to apply for and claim the financial aid that they are eligible for, with an end goal of increasing the total number of students who enroll in college.

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