President Barack Obama announced new changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA.
Students and their families can now process and receive financial aid information faster.
"We're really happy with the changes that the Obama Administration recently made to FAFSA," said Eric Fulcomer, Rockford University's FAFSA Vice President for Enrollment Management
President Barack Obama's new initiative allows students to apply for college financial aid in October now, instead of January. The move allows students more time to file the FAFSA and get their financial aid packages back sooner.
"Students and families are going to be able to get their financial information much quicker so that they can make their decisions earlier," said Jefferson High School Counselor Amy Cusimano. "More students will be eligible to get grant money so I think its really going to be a good thing."
Students can also now use tax returns from the year prior, which means they no longer have to make estimates.
"In the past you've had to use the prior years tax information for the next year's academic year, which means sometimes its April, just a few months before the school year starts before you can file the FAFSA or complete the FAFSA."
Fulcomer said 99 percent of students at Rockford University are on financial aid. He said the new fascia changes will not only be beneficial to students but also the university.
"The main benefit to us in addition to being able to communicate with students early is that it will allow us to do our processes earlier. we've had to delay our processes in the past waiting on information now will be able to expedite that process."
The changes will go in to effect Oct. 1, 2016.
President Obama also announced he wants to draft legislation to remove 30 of the 100 questions from the FAFSA application.