By Kyle Midura
Vermont students and their parents should find it simpler to apply for college financial aid this year, and can do so now.
At a press conference Monday, Rep. Peter Welch implored students to file the application form -- known as the FAFSA -- as soon as possible. Previously that couldn't happen until January. Welch says the process of finding out how much aid one is eligible for should be a relatively painless process.
"What we've done here is simplified that free application for financial aid. You know, it used to be a nightmare. You had to be an accountant. Now, it takes less than 30 minutes," Welch said.
Vermont's education administrators say they hope the shifted timeline, and streamlined application leads more students to enroll in college. Once finished with the FAFSA, students can automatically copy information over to applications for state grants. Those who complete the form in October will also be eligible to be picked for a special scholarship.