Carl Sandburg College’s Director of Financial Aid Dustin Zimmerman Offers Tips in Completing FAFSA Forms


The U.S. Department of Education has rolled out a new FAFSA form for the 2024-2025 academic year to be more user friendly and less time to complete. Director of Financial Aid at Carl Sandburg College, Dustin Zimmerman, offers tips for completing the FAFSA form as early as possible:

“One of the things they have now done, the big part of the legislation was that they signed an agreement with the IRS. Now, they do not ask any of those income tax questions that used to be there. You have to have an FSA ID. You also have to consent now when you fill out the FAFSA that it is okay to look at your IRS records. It automatically imports all of your IRS data and you don’t even see it. All it asks is a few asset questions, it will ask about an IRA or pension rollover. Just try to get in there and complete it as early as you can because for processing, especially when schools have certain deadlines, a lot of them will use that FAFSA filing date. Then even if you have to make corrections or do something to it later, we will use that first date. The state has said that their first priority date for MAP Grant funding this year if February 1st.”

Students and parents can complete the FAFSA form to be considered for federal, state, and school financial aid programs by visiting

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