Every year, $20 billion in financial aid, including $3 billion in Pell Grants, is left on the table. Many experts and families have blamed this unfortunate situation on the complexity and longevity of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
For years now, families have complained about how complex filing FAFSA® is through the desktop site. Its longevity and non-user-friendly features discouraged families to the point they opted out of completing the application. In an effort to make the application more accessible, the Department of Education evolved the desktop version of FAFSA® into a new modern mobile app. The MyStudentAid app was launched on August 16th, 2018.
- A more positive environment
- More engaging appearance
- Customized experience
When you open the form on the mobile app, you will see the same application that’s on the desktop site. The only differences are the appearance of the platform, and how simple the form is displayed compared to the older version.
Before completing the application, parents and students are required to create an FSA ID. Federal Student Aid is an identification that provides families with access to their federal student aid profile, FAFSA® application, and other information on various websites run by the Department of Education. Without an FSA ID families won’t be able to successfully complete the FAFSA® form. Even after the application is complete, you will need to use an FSA ID to electronically sign the application. To create an FSA ID you will need to go to the Federal Student Aid website.
The easy-to-use mobile app contains many features from a user-friendly appearance to a simplified version of the older application. Though the mobile app differs in various ways from the desktop site, it still offers the same security in terms of data protection.
The MyStudentAid app allows individuals to identify themselves as the student, parent, or preparer (a third party who helps fill out the application). Based on this information the app customizes its appearances based on who’s currently using it.
Similar to the desktop version, your family will be asked for their personal information and financial information such as date of birth, social security number, and income tax information.
Once you fill out all the fields you can sign the application and hit submit.
By completing the application students increase their chances of receiving more financial aid. The financial aid may consist of federal grants and loans as well as private scholarships/loans and federal work-study.
The MyStudentAid app was introduced in an effort to increase the number of students who actually get to attend college. The mobile app has made it possible for many students to complete the application and financial aid award letter from their school.