Honors News: August 14, 2015

FAFSA Will No Longer Share Your College Choice with Other Schools

In what is welcome news to college applicants and their parents, the musical chairs game of prioritizing your list of school on the FAFSA form–and hoping that schools will not hold it against you if don’t list them first–now seems to be over.

“…it’s all behind us,” says consultant and web columnist Nancy Griesemer. “In the single biggest change for 2016-17 federal financial aid programming, the list of colleges a student includes on the FAFSA will not be shared except with the student’s state agency—not with other colleges.”

But if you are applying to an in-state public university, you would be wise to list that choice first in order to qualify for state aid. According to the FAFSA website:

“For purposes of federal student aid, it does not matter in what order you list the schools. However, to be considered for state aid, several states require you to list a state school first. Therefore, if you plan to list a state school in your state of residence as one of the schools in this section, you might want to list it first. After the first school, you may wish to list additional schools in alphabetical order.

So far, I have been unable to identify the states that require applicants in-state to list an in-state university first. So…if you’re applying to one in your state, why not go ahead and list it first, especially since your other choices won’t receive that information now.

“You can list up to 10 schools on the online FAFSA or up to four schools on a paper FAFSA. (You can add more schools to your FAFSA later.) Schools you list on your FAFSA will automatically receive your FAFSA results electronically.”

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