Among the numerous provisions buried in the 5,000-plus-page Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act that was enacted late last year are measures designed to streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The form is used to determine how much financial aid a student will receive from federal and state governments, colleges and universities. The changes will also expand eligibility for Pell grants and subsidized student loans for low-income students.
Starting with the FAFSA available for filing in October 2022, the number of questions will be reduced from 108 to 36, and they’ll be better aligned with information on federal tax returns. That means families will be able to use the IRS data-retrieval tool to answer more questions, which could save time and reduce errors.
Separately, the coronavirus relief bill extends a tax break that permits employers to contribute up to $5,250 a year, tax-free, to help pay off employees’ student loans. The provision was set to expire at the end of 2020.
Only about 8% of employers currently offer this benefit, but up to one-fourth of large companies have said they would provide it if the payments are tax-free, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.
Can You Build a Retirement Income Plan With Both Risk and Reliability?
Two strategies for making retirement savings last — probability-based income planning and guaranteed income planning — can help ensure you have what you need in your golden years, but which is right for you?
By Scott M. Dougan, RFC, Investment Adviser • Published
5 Financial Wellness Tips to Help Weather the Winter
You can regain some control over today’s money pressures by exploring your employer's financial support options and benefits, making plans to save and taking other simple actions.
By Aaron Harding, CFP® • Published
The Best Cashback Credit Cards
Smart Buying Not interested in miles, points or other perks from your credit card? If you want money back, with a minimum of games, these cashback cards are the way to go.
By Lisa Gerstner • Published
Student Loan Forgiveness Blocked For Now Due to Court Ruling
For now, a Texas federal court ruling has caused the Biden administration to block new applications for student loan forgiveness.
By Kelley R. Taylor • Published
I-Bond Rate Is 6.89% for Next Six Months
Investing for Income If you missed out on the opportunity to buy I-bonds at their recent high, don’t despair. The new rate is still good, and even has a little sweetener built in.
By David Muhlbaum • Last updated
What Are I-Bonds?
savings bonds Inflation has made Series I savings bonds enormously popular with risk-averse investors. So how do they work?
By Lisa Gerstner • Last updated
529 Plan Contribution Deadlines Coming Soon in Many States
Year-end state deadlines for making 529 college savings plan contributions that can maximize state tax breaks, are coming soon.
By Kelley R. Taylor • Last updated
Your Guide to Open Enrollment 2023
Employee Benefits Health care costs continue to climb, but subsidies will make some plans more affordable.
By Rivan V. Stinson • Published
Watch Out for Flood-Damaged Cars from Hurricane Ian
Buying & Leasing a Car In the wake of Hurricane Ian, more flood-damaged cars may hit the market. Car prices may rise further because of increased demand as well.
By Bob Niedt • Last updated
What You Need to Know About Life Insurance Settlements
life insurance If your life insurance payments don’t seem worth it anymore, consider these options for keeping the value.
By David Rodeck • Published