Publication Date: October 2, 2007
Author: Jennifer Douglas, General Manager, Student Aid Awareness and Applicant Services Channel, Federal Student Aid
Summary: FAFSA4caster Release II
Posted on 10-02-2007
Since introducing FAFSA4caster to you in April, we've made some significant enhancements to this federal student financial aid estimator, which Time magazine named one of the 50 best Web sites of 2007. These upgrades make the tool even more useful for students and their families as they plan how to pay for college.
In this letter, we've highlighted the main enhancements to FAFSA4caster, which is available in English and Spanish at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov. We've also referenced communications material for your use at outreach events with students who want to enter or return to college.
FAFSA4caster Features and Benefits
Students instantly receive their estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
NEW - Students receive customized federal student aid award estimates. Aid award estimates list the federal student aid programs and estimated award amounts a student may be eligible to receive. The federal student aid programs that may be awarded are the Federal Pell Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the National SMART Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), and the Federal Perkins Loan.
NEW - The federal student aid award estimate can be calculated for 12 different school scenarios. Options include 4-year or 2-year schools, public or private schools, in-state or out-of state residency, and on-campus or off-campus housing.
NEW -- Automatically generates a Federal Student Aid PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA. The PIN will be sent to students in November so that they can electronically sign the FAFSA in January of the year they will apply to college.
NEW - Students who have a MYFSA account on Student Aid on the Web can choose to transfer their demographic information to FAFSA4caster.
FAFSA4caster pre-fills a number of the questions on the FAFSA; significantly reducing the time it takes the student to complete the form.
NEW -- Sends reminder notices to students in early January to complete the FAFSA.
Provides guidance on next steps to apply for college admission, apply for federal student aid, and ways to pay for college.
The following materials are available for your outreach activities:
Hall Pass: This flyer explains the main benefits of FAFSA4caster to students and their families. Available for order at www.FSAPubs.org beginning October 15th.
FAFSA4caster Q&A: A comprehensive summary of FAFSA4caster features and benefits, which can be found at http://www.fsa.ed.gov/fafsa4caster.html.
Web Banner: You can also post banners on your school Web site to link students directly to FAFSA4caster. You can access the banners by visiting http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/0402FAFSA4Caster.html
FAFSA4caster Article: This is a pre-written story that you can give to your school newspaper or provide to other local print media to reach families in your community. Please see attachment.
FAFSA4caster Visual: This is a jpeg file of the FAFSA4caster home page, which you may include in presentations or other communications material. Please see attachment.
For more information about FAFSA4caster, please visit www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID.