The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School



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FAFSA Is Changing

Students think about FAFSA applications as the opening is nearing.
Applications for FAFSA will open Dec. 1, 2023.
Applications for FAFSA will open Dec. 1, 2023.

Have you ever heard of Free Application for Federal Student Aid? Do you know what it is, or why it is important? Do you know that applications open on December 1, 2023? What about changes made to the application process this year? If you answered “no” to at least one of these questions, chances are your peers did as well. 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) according to their website,, 2023, is “responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.” These programs provide students attending college or a career school grant, work-study, and loan funds. So, in simple terms, FAFSA provides financial help towards schooling expenses for those who qualify, making college less of a monetary burden. Finally, by graduation time, you need to prepare to pay your loans back. A six-month grace period is offered, and it’s recommended you use this time to become organized on how these payments will be covered. However, if you start to fall behind, a financial aid servicer is available to help you become organized. 

This year, however, more chatter has been arising about the program amongst college students, or soon-to-be college students. The application process has some recent changes, the first being the form. In the past, the form to apply has been lengthy, causing headaches. Now, the process will be much shorter and will rely almost entirely on parents’ tax returns from the previous two years. Next, changes in terminology are happening, previously the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is now changed to SAI (Student Aid Index) to communicate that this isn’t the exact number families are expected to contribute. 

So, whether you are a senior applying for FAFSA or a junior, sophomore, or freshman learning about it for the first time, knowing what FAFSA does is essential, and absolutely necessary for the next stages of your adult life.

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About the Contributor
Anna Potts
Anna Potts, AHS Needle Editor
Anna Potts is a junior involved in journalism at Atlantic High School. This is Potts’ second year going to AHS and also her second year in journalism. Exactly what does Potts do in journalism? She is involved in the newspaper and is one of the editors. Her favorite part of journalism is the First Fridays, the monthly celebrations for the entire staff. “Those are the best,” she said. She also said the worst part had to be taking the pictures. Potts' story she is most proud of that she wrote would be “my birth control story” which was about birth control becoming an over- the- counter medication. Potts was inspired to do journalism by her upperclassmen. She said for her upcoming years in high school she would like to “become a bigger role in the journalism department.” Potts is not just involved with school academics she is also part of softball,track, and tennis. Outside of school she reads her Bible, works on her new job at a law firm, and plays with her dog Loki. Best advice Potts has to give for us younger classes is “get involved with everything you can.” Story by Calianda Thompson

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