AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The application for federal financial aid has made two significant changes with the goal of improving the application process.
The U.S. Department of Education moved the first day students can submit their application to Oct. 1.
The second major change regards the tax information the application requires.
Starting this year, applicants will be able to use their tax returns from 2 years ago, known as prior-prior returns.
The combination of these two adjustments will give students and parents more time to apply and ensure that they have access to the necessary information.
"Essentially what the Department of Education wants to do is help students make a more informed decisions," said Kelly Prater, Amarillo College's Financial Aid Director. "It is going to be much easier to fill out the FAFSA application."
70 percent of WTAMU students and 60 percent of Amarillo College students receive some form of financial aid.
More than two thirds of college students across the county take part in the FAFSA program.
"I wish it was easier when I applied," said Ladouce Nduwimana, a junior at Amarillo College. " The steps I had to go through were way too hard, especially since English is not my first language."
Another feature making the application process easier is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. It allows students and parents to transfer their tax information directly into the FAFSA application.
As long as the taxes were filed properly this feature will be available to anyone who applies online.