Updates from Johnson County Community College: FAFSA® is changing—and JCCC is here to help!

JCCC’s dedicated team of experts are here to help navigate the FAFSA process and financial aid in general.

There are major changes coming to the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). While the FAFSA normally opens October 1, this year, the new form will be available in December 2023. This new launch date will only apply for the 2024–25 FAFSA.

With a shorter window of time to complete the FAFSA before priority deadlines, JCCC’s Financial Aid team is here to help you prepare! 

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is something every eligible student should complete, even if they aren’t sure they would qualify for funding. Financial aid statistics indicate that over $2 billion in student grants are left unclaimed each year. This means money could be waiting, and students can claim it with one simple application. In fact, with the new FAFSA, it’s expected that more students could qualify for grants like the Pell Grant than ever before.

The FAFSA gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to help you pay for college. Almost 18 million students file the FAFSA each year, making it important to get a jumpstart on the process. Students who file within the first three months are poised to receive twice as many grants on average compared to students who file later. 

What does the FAFSA unlock?

The FAFSA is required to receive federal financial aid and is also needed for many JCCC scholarships, including the Kansas Promise Scholarship. This “last dollar” scholarship can be used to pay for tuition, books and additional Promise-eligible course-related materials not covered by other scholarships or grants. 

“If only 30 minutes of time increased a student’s scholarship potential – it would be worth it, right? That’s all the time it takes to complete the FAFSA! Don’t miss out on financial aid opportunities by neglecting this important process when the application opens in December,” says Ashley Jost, JCCC Financial Aid.

How to apply for FAFSA

To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid social security number.
  • Have, or be on track for their high school diploma.

Completing the FAFSA can be simple as long as students have the necessary information on hand. The form asks for basic personal, family and financial information which determines a Student Aid Index or SAI. The SAI is included in a formula that colleges use to decide how much financial aid students are eligible to receive.

We encourage students to file their FAFSA before JCCC’s priority deadline of March 15, 2024.

Keep in mind, a new FAFSA should be submitted every year to remain eligible for federal aid. After the initial submission, an application renewal is all that’s needed for subsequent years! 

Get free, step-by-step help from our experts

At JCCC, we strive to provide financial aid guidance to both students and parents. If you have general financial aid questions or need help with the FAFSA, JCCC offers free in-person assistance during our office hours and at special events throughout the year. 

Meet with the Financial Aid team using one of our many flexible options. Call us at 913-469-3840 or visit our office on the 2nd floor of the Student Center. Can’t make it to campus? Appointments are available in our Financial Aid Zoom Room! Just contact us at finaid@jccc.edu or visit us at jccc.edu/fafsa to schedule.