Publication Date: September 13, 2007
Author: Jennifer Douglas, General Manager, Student Aid Awareness and Applicant Services Channel, Federal Student Aid
Summary: 2008-2009 Distribution Update - Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet (FOTW Worksheet)
Posted on 09-13-2007
Attention: Change in Distribution for 2008-2009
For 2008-2009 paper FAFSAs will not be available for schools to order via FSAPubs. Students will be able to obtain a paper FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) toll-free at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Students may request up to three copies of the paper application and should receive their FAFSAs in 3 to 7 business days.
With your support, we will continue to encourage students to use the online method for filing the application. The FOTW Worksheet, the most effective tool students can use to facilitate the online application process, will still be available for bulk order by schools. In addition, Federal Student Aid has several promotional publications (e.g., the Need Money for College Brochure, Start Here Go Further Bookmark, the FAFSA on the Web Poster) that list application resources, explain how students can file the FAFSA and provide tips for completing the application.
New for 2008-2009 is a PDF version of the FAFSA that students can submit for processing. The PDF version of the FAFSA will be available for download on various Federal Student Aid web sites, such as www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov. Students can access the PDF, complete the form on the computer or by hand, and mail it to the address provided for processing. Schools will also be able to access the PDF from our web sites including FSAPubs at www.FSAPubs.org.
Why We Made This Change
While we have successfully decreased reliance on the paper FAFSA over the last several years, until now, Federal Student Aid has continued to print and distribute millions of unused paper forms to schools each year. Approximately 500,000 paper FAFSAs have been processed to date for 2007-2008. For the same period in 2006-2007, there were 778,000 forms processed. These numbers represent almost a 50 percent decline in the number of paper applications processed.
In one example, of the 75,000 paper FAFSAs requested by a single school, students from that school submitted only 68 of the paper forms for processing. Understanding the importance of this trend, Federal Student Aid concluded that our new distribution strategy not only reduces waste and costs, it also provides students with viable alternatives for completing and submitting the FAFSA.
Thank you again for your continued support in moving to alternate methods of completing the FAFSA. If you have any questions or comments about the information provided in this letter, please email us at FAFSA.Comments@ed.gov.