More Students File Federal Aid Form Under New Rules

The number of students filing a crucial financial aid form has risen, suggesting that recent changes that have made it easier to file are working, a new analysis finds.

The Fafsa, short for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the gateway for most financial help for college students, including federal grants and subsidized student loans. Many states and colleges also use Fafsa data to determine eligibility for aid they distribute.

The number of Fafsa forms filed over all as of June 30 was up 6 percent over last year, according to an analysis of federal data by the National College Access Network, a nonprofit that aims to reduce barriers to college attendance. And for high school seniors, who are the main target of a new policy allowing students to file the form several months earlier than in the past, the number of filers increased by 9 percent.

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