College News

Barton Community College Financial Aid office prepared to help students with FAFSA frustrations

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March 12, 2024
Story by Maggie Harris

The U.S. Department of Education is rolling out changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the FAFSA Simplification Act for the 2024-25 academic year, and the Barton Community College financial aid office is trained and ready to help families through the transition of this vital piece of the enrollment process.

The Department of Education has provided status updates and resources to help train financial aid officers nationwide so officers were ready to assist students once the application became available this past December. Barton’s financial aid staff has participated in several trainings to ensure they are prepared to help students and process applications as quickly as possible.

Barton’s Director of Financial Aid Myrna Perkins said that even with preparation, financial aid offices nationwide have encountered some challenges as with any new program rollout. Still, she wants to let families know that the Barton financial aid staff is as prepared and trained as possible.

“While students can expect some delays in Barton receiving their FAFSA information, once it is in our hands, we will process it as quickly as possible,” she said. “We are continually participating in conversations and training to make sure we are ready to go when the time comes.”

Barton is also working alongside their student information software vendor, Ellucian, to learn and process the new data rules and fields. Once Barton receives student data, they will work with their vendor to adjust procedures in hopes of reaching full processing status quickly. 

The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted to help more students qualify for Pell Grants by switching to a new Student Aid Index formula. The new FAFSA will also directly receive federal tax data from the Internal Revenue Service for applicants when available, along with several other eligibility changes.