High School students in the Garden State are FREAKING out right now. Honestly, nobody can blame them.

You see, there has been a change to the FAFSA process this year that is impacting high school seniors from all over and their ability to claim financial aid help for their first year of college.

If this was happening when I was getting ready to head off to school, I'd be a nervous wreck, too.

If you're unaware of what the acronym 'FAFSA' stands for, it's the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. That information is responsible for whether or not thousands of high school seniors will receive any financial government help for attending university.

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Multiple sources report that FAFSA information won't be sent out to prospective colleges and universities until March. With plenty of NJ high school seniors already accepted to multiple educational institutions, this means they'll have to wait even longer to see what kind of student loans and work studies they'll be eligible for.

I know that when I was preparing for college, affordability had to be my number one priority. I didn't want to be in debt until I was 40, so I had to pay attention to how much I was going to have to pay over the course of those four years of college for my education.

Unfortunately, students can't begin to make any of those plans here in the Garden State right now if they're depending on any form of government assistance.

Why a delay in FAFSA information distribution?

Well, the government did admit that there was a serious mistake in the FAFSA calculations this year that could have really had a negative impact on low-income students. It could have resulted in plenty of New Jersey students not able to attend college in the fall.

What does that mean for students once the FAFSA info gets sent out?

To make a long story short, it will mean that students will likely have only a few short weeks to make a decision about where they'll be enrolling. Since colleges won't be able to shell out financial aid packages until much later in the year than normal, students better start thinking long and hard now about which schools are at the top of their list.

Once they see the type of money they'll be working with from each university, then should come up with a decision and QUICK.

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