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Better FAFSA for Mixed-Status Families: Top 10 Things to Know So You Can Prepare

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA is getting an overhaul this year as the U.S. Department of Education (ED) implements the FAFSA Simplification and FUTURE Acts. Most residents, including citizens, legal permanent residents, T visa holders, and other specified non-citizens, are eligible for federal financial aid, even if their parents are undocumented. Changes to the FAFSA may however pose some challenges for mixed status families. People without Social Security Numbers (SSNs) will need to go through a separate process to attain an FSA ID, and Federal Student Aid (FSA), the office of ED that administers federal financial aid, has announced that the FAFSA will be released in December 2023 instead of the standard release date of October 1. This leaves less time for students and families to navigate a new process. This document provides an overview of key changes and things students and families need to know to get ready to apply for federal financial aid.

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