While big changes are planned for the FAFSA later down the road, there are two changes that are already in effect that you need to know about.
Two questions on the FAFSA will no longer be used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid—the Selective Service question and the drug conviction question.
- Do you want us to register you with the Selective Service System?
Males ages 18-25 who complete the 2022-23 FAFSA will still see the option to register if they haven’t yet done so, but it’s no longer a requirement for males to be registered to receive federal financial aid.
- Have you been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid?
This question will also appear on the 2022-23 FAFSA, but a previous drug conviction will no longer disqualify a student from receiving federal financial aid.
Once a FAFSA is processed, the Department of Education may still place comments on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) of a prospective student regarding these questions, alerting a financial aid office they must take steps to resolve either issue before the student can be eligible for federal financial aid. But as of June 7, 2021, financial aid personnel have been instructed to ignore the comments that would deny eligibility based on the answers to these two questions.
Students who’ve already been denied federal financial aid for the 2021-22 academic year for reasons related to the Selective Service and/or drug conviction questions will receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education or Federal Student Aid (FSA) informing them of the recent changes and advising them they may now be eligible to receive federal aid for the academic year beginning this fall. Affected students should contact the financial aid office at their institution(s) of interest to ask for a review of their eligibility requirements.
Don’t forget to complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1!