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WCU to host FAFSA Day Jan. 27

student life 196


By Julia Duvall

Western Carolina University will host a FAFSA Day on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon in the WCU Financial Aid Office, located in room 105 of the Cordelia Camp Building.

“All students are welcome to come and let us help them complete their 2024-2025 FAFSA,” said Trina Orr, director of the Office of Financial Aid at WCU.

The new FAFSA rollout comes as a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act, which implemented a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. The law will also affect every state that uses FAFSA data to award state grant aid and every school that participates in the federal student aid programs.

FAFSA for 2024-25 became available for students in December.

“We strongly encourage every student to complete the new redesigned 2024-2025 FAFSA, even if a student has completed the FAFSA in the past and did not qualify,” said Orr. “While the 2024-2025 FAFSA does not account for multiple family members in college, the new FAFSA does bring expanded aid eligibility, fewer questions and direct IRS data exchange.”

Schools will begin receiving aid eligibility information, including Institutional Student Information Records, by the end of January, with information on paper forms to follow.

According to the latest update from the U.S. Department of Education, applicants can expect a new waiting room feature to control web traffic volume and ensure optimal performance of the form. 

After completing the form during the soft launch period, applicants will receive a confirmation email notifying them of their submission date, along with an estimated Student Aid Index and estimated Pell Grant eligibility. Applicants will receive their FAFSA Submission Summary and a notification once their information has been sent to their selected schools, beginning in late January 2024.

Another opportunity for students and their families to be aware of is Next NC. This new financial aid program helps most North Carolinians from households making $80,000 or less pursue higher education by fully covering tuition and fees at any community college or more than half, if not all, of tuition and fees to attend any public university in the state.

The Next NC Scholarship combines the federal Pell Grant with the state-funded financial aid program to form a simplified, predictable scholarship award.  

Eligible students will receive at least $3,000 for NC community colleges and $5,000 for NC public universities.

For more information about FAFSA, visit For more information about Next NC, visit

For all other financial aid questions, contact WCU’s Office of Financial Aid.

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