SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WLS) -- Students applying for college financial aid are awaiting a new version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA.
The applications are usually released in October. However, a new and simplified application is expected to be available by the end of December.
Schaumburg High School senior Grace Clavio and her counselor Nick Kostalek talked about her plans for college next year, but she's not yet sure where she will go. The uncertainty is partly because she's not sure how much financial aid she might qualify for.
This year's FAFSA is not available yet. That means students have no way to know yet if they can get enough financial aid to go to college.
"It's frustrating... toss-up for me," Clavio said.
Federal government officials have promised to simplify the financial aid forms.
"I can feel a little bit of a panic, but again we're trying to do as much as we can to help support them," Kostalek said.
Unlike many other states, Illinois students have to fill out the FAFSA as part of high school graduation requirements. Experts said that may help encourage more students to go to college. However, with the application delay, it could have the opposite effect.
"Students from low income backgrounds are making the tough decision whether they wanna go to college," Chalkbear reporter Jason Gonzales said. "That really does hurt them."
The high schools in District 211 as well as many other schools around the state are offering workshops to help parents complete the financial aid forms once they become available. They have told parents and students to not panic.