SCSU President discusses FAFSA changes with U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro

SCSU President discusses FAFSA changes with U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro joined SCSU President Mary Papazian and SCSU Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Terricita Sass today in a discussion about updates concerning the application process for financial aid — changes that are designed to help students.

The discussion, held in the Student Center Ballroom in front of SCSU students and staff, was held a day after President Barack Obama announced his approval of the updates. Among the changes are enabling students and their parents to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the fall, rather than waiting until Jan. 1. The fall is typically when many students are deciding where to apply, while some are actually sending in enrollment applications to schools of their choice. Another change is to allow students and their parents to submit data from the previous tax year to calculate their student aid eligibility.

“Students will be able to fill out their college and FAFSA applications at the same time, giving them a much clearer picture of how much it will cost and how much aid they will likely receive,” DeLauro said.

President Papazian agreed.

“We are thrilled about these changes,” she said. “Streamlining the financial aid application process can only help families and encourage more students to go to college. This comes at a time when we are striving in Connecticut to meet the state goal of having 70 percent degree attainment by 2020.”

Sass added that financial concerns are consistently among students’ top concerns when pursuing higher education. She said that is particularly true at Southern, which has a relatively high number of first-generation college students and students from families with a low-to moderate income, compared with other schools. These changes will help reduce that stress, Sass said.