Applying for Aid May Be a Barrier for Returning Students, Too

May 21, 2014

Researchers have known for years that applying for financial aid is a hurdle on the path to college. So there’s been a big push to get more high-school seniors to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, knows as the Fafsa, which is used to determine aid eligibility by the federal government as well as many states and colleges. Students have to refile the Fafsa annually, but much less attention has been paid to how the application process works after the first year. A new paper, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Investigating Rates and Patterns of Financial Aid Renewal Among College Freshmen,” explores the issue using a nationally representative federal data set.