FAFSA Simplification Act Makes More Students Eligible for the Federal Pell Grant

by | Jun 18, 2024

The FAFSA Simplification Act aims to make more students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, while also making it easier for students to complete and more secure. However, with the delay of the rollout, considerably fewer students have been completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid).

As of May 31, 2024, only 43.3% of 2024 high school seniors had completed a FAFSA, a 13.5% decline compared to last academic year. However, the percentage of high school seniors with a completed FAFSA in Indiana is 1.6% lower while most states range between 10-20% behind their expected completion rates.

“Completing the FAFSA is the first step to making college affordable,” says Sabrina Citté, director of student financial services. “The Bethel University financial aid office doesn’t want concerns with filling out the FAFSA to be what stops students from attending college.”

Bethel has been promoting the April 15 deadline, which allowed students to be eligible for the Frank O’Bannon Grant in Indiana. However, there is still time for those still looking to receive federal aid.

In addition to state aid, a completed FAFSA is needed to determine student financial assistance eligibility such as Pell Grants, Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans and work-study employment programs. Bethel financial aid programs, including need-based scholarships and private grants, also use FAFSA data.

With this filing year, more Bethel students qualify for the Pell Grant, including many returning students who did not previously qualify. As of June 12, 2024, 55.67% of Bethel University FAFSA filers qualify for Pell for the 24-25 school year. This is an increase from 43.14% during the 23-24 school year.

“For families who were waiting for the Department of Education to finalize FAFSA changes,” Citté adds, “we want them to know that now is the time to file, and we are here to support you through the process.”

Families can still fill out the FAFSA by going to StudentAid.gov. Bethel students should use Bethel’s school code: 001787. Questions can be directed to the Financial Aid Office at FinAid@BethelUniversity.edu.