Applying to college, and then deciding which college to attend, can be a tumultuous and stressful time for high school students. Research has proven that texting students throughout this process can increase student success, and is a relatively inexpensive and effective way for educational institutions to guide students along their journey. AdmitHub uses artificial intelligence to provide instant support to hundreds of thousands of students. Most recently, I was managing conversations by text messaging with 30,000 prospective students about their college plans. I learned a great deal while having back-and-forth conversations with so many students in such a short period of time, and wanted to share some of the lessons I learned.
Two major changes for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are affecting the 2017-18 school year application season.
- The FAFSA is available earlier, starting on Oct. 1 of the previous year instead of Jan. 1 of the upcoming school year.
- The FAFSA collects income information from an earlier tax year -- prior prior year (PPY).
These changes can help colleges better assist students in the financial aid process and potentially achieve higher matriculation in the fall. “Summer melt,” wherein college-intending students fail to matriculate in the fall, is a double loss, hurting both the students whose college dreams fall by the wayside, and the schools that were counting on them to attend. Often, cost is the culprit.