Illinois students will now be required to fill out a form to apply for student aid. House Bill 2719, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker yesterday in Decatur. The bill requires all graduating seniors to fill out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Students not wishing to fill out the FAFSA as seniors must fill out a waiver form acknowledging that they know what the FAFSA is and they have chosen not to file it. Students are also exempt if they are unable to meet the requirement due to extenuating circumstances as determined by a principal. The goal, according to Manar, is to maximize the number of students who apply for federal aid in the state.
Funding received via the FAFSA can also be applied to trade and vocational school certifications. Illinois is the second state in the nation to require the form be filled out, with Louisiana being the other. According to a press release, after Louisiana passed a similar measure, their FAFSA completion rate went up nearly 26%. The bill will take effect immediately.