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January 24, 2024

Completing the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is an important part of the college application process. JCCC is holding three events to provide help completing the required forms.

In 2020, the US Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act — legislation to make applying for and receiving federal financial aid for college simpler and easier for more students, and to expand access to Pell Grants to students who may not have been eligible previously.

The updated 2024-25 FAFSA launched in late December 2023, and it reflects many changes shaped by the 2020 legislation. JCCC is offering three opportunities for students and their families to better understand how to successfully navigate and complete this important part of the college application process.

Every student should complete the FAFSA®

“Every student, regardless of what they believe their college financial picture looks like, should complete the FAFSA,” says Ashley Jost, Supervisor, Financial Aid Scholarship Communication & Outreach at JCCC. “Completing the FAFSA doesn’t obligate a student to take out loans or accept other forms of aid, but it will give the student a broader understanding of what aid is available to them. It may identify sources of financial support the student wasn’t aware they qualified for as well.”

Students interested in attending college in the 2024-25 school year who don’t complete the FAFSA® — or who don’t submit a complete application — won’t be eligible to receive federal financial aid they may qualify for, and they may be ineligible for scholarships and state aid that use the information in the FAFSA® to determine eligibility.

Three opportunities to get personalized help

Because of the impact and scope of the changes — as well as the reduced timeline to complete the process before established priority aid deadlines — JCCC is offering three opportunities for area students and their families to learn more about how to navigate this important part of the college application process.

  • From noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, JCCC will host a free online lunch-and-learn webinar to help prospective students and their families navigate the FAFSA® and understand the grants, scholarships and other financial assistance that may be available. People interested in attending the online seminar should RSVP at
  • From 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, and Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, JCCC is hosting free in-person FAFSA completion events on the main JCCC campus at 12345 College Blvd. in Overland Park, Kansas. These interactive events give students and their families one-on-one assistance setting up or accessing an existing account and completing the FAFSA® forms online.

RSVP for FAFSA completion events

Tighter timelines and a changed process for the 2024-25 FAFSA®

In the past, the FAFSA® typically was available in October for the next academic year, but the scope of changes delayed the 2024-25 release until late December. As a result, students are facing tighter timelines to gather information and complete the application.

JCCC encourages anyone considering attending college in Fall 2024 to act quickly so they don’t miss priority deadlines. “At JCCC, the priority deadline for FAFSA® completion is March 15, and the priority deadline for the JCCC Scholarship Application is April 1,” explains Jost. “Priority deadlines determine when schools begin awarding aid, so students who miss these deadlines risk missing out on scholarships and other opportunities for financial support.”

While changes to the process should make completing the forms faster, the process is different from past years. “If a student completed the FAFSA® in the past — they should complete it every year — they’ll find it has changed a lot. And if a student hasn’t completed the FAFSA® before, these events at JCCC will help them understand what information they’ll need,” says Jost.

According to Jost, “The new process asks fewer questions and connects to the IRS Direct Data Exchange to determine income. It also introduces or redefines key concepts that drive the determination of aid eligibility. For example, the student will be assigned a Student Aid Index (SAI) instead of an Expected Family Contribution. And each FAFSA® will ask a student to identify contributors — people who contribute information to the FAFSA, which for dependent students are often parents or stepparents. Each contributor will receive an email asking them to provide information that will be used in the aid calculation. If a contributor doesn’t provide the requested information — being identified as a contributor does not necessarily indicate financial responsibility — the application would be incomplete, which can slow the calculation of available aid.”

The two in-person events in February complement the online seminar by giving students the chance to apply information learned in the online seminar to their specific situation. Participants can complete the FAFSA during the live event with experts on hand to answer questions.

“We welcome anyone interested in learning more about the FAFSA®, or who needs help completing it, to attend our events, even if they’re not considering coming to JCCC,” says Jost. “We want to help anyone in our community navigate this process because it’s key to making higher education more accessible to more people. It’s a way we support JCCC’s mission of inspiring learning to transform lives and strengthen communities.”

Media Contact:
Chris Gray
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Marketing