A New and Improved FAFSA

Hallelujah. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is getting simplified.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan  announced plans to make the FAFSA, which includes 135 questions on assets and income, more user friendly today.

The news isn’t surprising. At his confirmation hearing, Duncan had this to say about the FAFSA form: “You basically have to have a Ph.D. to figure that thing out.”

The new FAFSA application, which will debut in January, is expected to shrink by about 20%.

Despite how difficult the FAFSA is to file, filings for federal financial aid jumped 12% this year thanks to the hideous economy.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch.com.

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