This article is especially important because on October 1st, 2022, the FAFSA form changed—a lot. If you’re a parent (or a professional who serves parents and students), please read all the way to the end of this article.
Whatever your kids’ ages, here’s what you need to know about the new FAFSA form.
1. Filling out the FAFSA form is the first step to getting your kid free money to help pay for college and best possible loan terms if loans are needed.
This is true even if you have a very high income. See my must-read article: 7 Reasons to Fill Out FAFSA Even if You’re Rich.
If you fail to fill out the FAFSA, you may leave thousands of dollars on the table.
2. Fill out the FAFSA every October 1st that there’s even the tiniest chance you might have a kid in college or technical school the following fall. Can’t do it October 1st? Do it as early in October as you possibly can.
If people are telling you, “Oh, you make too much money, you won’t get anything anyway,” read my must-read article: 7 Reasons to Fill Out FAFSA Even if You’re Rich.
3. The new version of the FAFSA severely disadvantages families who have multiple kids in college at the same time. I’m so sorry. I didn’t make these rules.
Fortunately, I have a lot of great strategies that help all families save massive amounts of money on college costs—without scholarships. So this bad news doesn’t have to sink you. I’ll continue to guide you to all the best debt-free college strategies through my book, my TRIBE Membership, and through my free weekly email newsletter.
4. The new FAFSA strips away a key strategy that had been fantastically helpful for divorced parents.
In the past, students could get more money for college by living with their lower-income parent (regardless of what the divorce decree might say). This no longer works—because the new FAFSA asks for the income of the parent who provided the student the most financial support during the time period of January 1st of 10th grade to December 31st of 11th grade.
I’m so sorry this no longer works. But take heart—I can help you with other strategies that still work super well. You’ll learn about them through my book, my TRIBE Membership, and my free weekly email newsletter.
5. The new FAFSA is striking like an earthquake that will have still unknown aftershocks. I am able to see all the questions that will be asked on the new FAFSA, but what I don’t yet know is how financial aid offices will use the limited info provided by the new FAFSA as they make their financial aid award decisions.
Many financial aid offices are reporting that they don’t even know how they’re going to use this limited information.
6. Some resources I’ve provided to parents and professionals in the past are now out-of-date.
For example, if you printed a downloadable document from me titled “30 Common FAFSA Mistakes and How to Avoid Them,” please tear that up and throw it away. Delete it from your computer. The info in that resource is no longer accurate.
I will be diligently, speedily removing from my website all my FAFSA articles that are no longer accurate following these new FAFSA changes. With 200 articles to go through, though, this is going to take me a little while! So please—don’t read or share any of my FAFSA articles other than the one you’re reading right now and 7 Reasons to Fill Out FAFSA Even if You’re Rich.
These two articles contain my most current FAFSA info. I’ll be updating these articles regularly throughout 2022 and 2023. You’ll personally stay most updated if you read my free weekly email newsletter every Monday morning.
7. Some FAFSA advice in the book I wrote is no longer up-to-date. Here’s what we’re doing about that.
First, FAFSA details make up just a very small portion of my book. I’m asking parents and professionals to read, embrace, and use all the non-FAFSA strategies I write about. You’re going to need these more now than ever.
I’m currently working on a fresh, new second edition of my book that will include revised FAFSA strategies. You’ll find out when this second edition is available by reading my free weekly email newsletter every Monday morning.
PRO TIP: I will still be recommending that families reposition assets into retirement savings and/or into certain deductible health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts prior to December 31st of the child’s 10th grade year. That will not change. Other than that, please—for now—disregard what I’ve said about the FAFSA in my book (other than when I say, “Definitely fill it out! Please!”).
8. Every time you read a chapter in my book during this season of FAFSA change, please check the free bonus book updates page on my website. (You’re instructed to do this in every end-of-chapter checklist in the book, so I’m confident you’ll remember to do this.)
Again, the link to my book updates is https://jeannieburlowski.com/bonus-updates/. If this link feels hard to remember, just go to JeannieBurlowski.com/LAUNCH and click where it says, “To access the free bonus book updates, click here.”
Just please be patient with me if you can—I have a lot of book updates to create.
9. The link you’ll need to access the official FAFSA form has changed.
This is shaking up parents who are worried that they might accidentally land on a scam FAFSA website. (You can’t blame people for worrying about this—I’ve warned about this a lot!)
Here’s the correct link you’ll need for filling out the new FAFSA on October 1st, 2022 and after: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.
10. With all the chaos and confusion surrounding the new FAFSA, your best bet for getting maximum amounts of free money for college is to appeal your child’s financial aid award in late winter to early spring after you fill out the FAFSA.
This is called a “professional judgment review,” and it’s where you’ll get to provide the full picture of your individual family financial story to a human being, including how COVID-19 affected your finances. I explain exactly how to do this on pages 272–273 of my book.
(My deepest empathy to college financial aid staff who are going to have a lot of people asking for these professional judgment reviews!)
Now—here’s my big request for you!
If you’re one of my fans, could you please go to my book’s Amazon page and write a brief book review?
Tell how my book has helped you, and then mention in your review that anyone can get free bonus book updates at JeannieBurlowski.com/LAUNCH. You’ll be helping me get good, accurate information out to the world.
(You might also mention that there’s free 10-minute video training on how to use LAUNCH most efficiently at bit.ly/easylaunchinstructions. This free training really helps people!)
It’s true that some student loan debt has been forgiven—but your kid’s will probably not be.
It’s not sustainable for the U.S. to keep running up massive amounts of national student loan debt—and then forgiving relatively small chunks of it here and there. You as a parent (or a professional) need strategies that’ll keep the kids you love from running up student loan debt in the first place.
Help us spread the word about all of this!
It’s our goal to help as many families as possible. Copy this entire article and paste it right into your school, business, or homeschool newsletter. Put a link to it in your Facebook group! Just include the words “By Jeannie Burlowski.”
And if you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward, get your copy of my book:
It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.
You can see hundreds of reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.
Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here. (You’ll especially want to do this so I can alert you to important FAFSA changes that will affect you in the future.)
Do you have very specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?
It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. It costs just pennies per day, but space is limited. Join the waiting list here.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to jump directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.
This article was last updated on October 30th, 2022.