There is a big change on the horizon for students wishing to attend college from Georgia.
Students who are planning to attend college in Georgia and who are also applying for state financial aid will soon have to fill out a federal application instead of a state form. The Georgia Student Finance Commission has announced that the Georgia Student Finance Application will no longer be used as of June 8, 2013.
Any students applying for state assistance, including the much-ballyhooed HOPE scholarship and other state grants, will have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that applicants nationwide fill out.
Georgia Student Finance Commission interim president Tracy Ireland stated the change will help verify that students who are applying for financial aid are legal citizens. Ireland says the state could have collected sworn affidavits and citizenship documents, or required federal applications instead.
The battle over the legality of students receiving public assistance for education has been controversial over the past few years, as highlighted by the controversy of Jessica Colotl attending Kennesaw State and receiving public financial aid while also an illegal immigrant.
Ireland said that about half of students receiving assistance through her agency already use the FAFSA, which requires more information than the state application.