New FAFSA calculation change have you confused? Here’s what to know...


By April Tretter 
Director of Financial Aid 
The U.S. Department of Education’s recent announcement that it would need to recalculate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) award formula has caused added anxiety for families – and for college financial aid offices. I want to share what we know as of today, and what you can count on as a student who has applied to Bellarmine. 
The good news: The recalculation will make some families eligible for more aid, because it will update the FAFSA formulas to account for inflation when considering the portion of a family’s income and assets that are exempt. This will generate an expected $1.8 billion in additional aid nationwide.  
The not-so-good news: Our ability to share financial aid information with students and families has been delayed due to recent changes to the FAFSA. Unfortunately, the Department of Education recently announced that institutions will not receive FAFSA applicant information until the first half of March. The information will be shared in batches, so it could be even later. This latest update means the process will be further delayed. 
Here’s what you need to know: 
  • If you have already filed the FAFSA, you do not need to do anything. The changes the Department of Education is making are changes in their calculation – the data you entered is still correct. Once we receive FAFSA data, we will communicate with you on the next steps. 
  • If you haven’t filed the FAFSA yet, please file it ASAP. The FAFSA form is currently available 24/7. If you need help filing the FAFSA, please contact the Office of Financial Aid. 
  • If you are a returning student who files the FAFSA, we understand that the recent changes have raised questions for many students and their families regarding the amount of aid for which they will qualify and how this will impact their financial responsibilities during their continued enrollment. We also understand that your scholarship and aid offer was a major factor in your choice to attend Bellarmine, so we want to assure you that we will continue to support you and make sure that a Bellarmine education remains possible for you. 
If you have any questions, please reach out to me and our Financial Aid team at finaid@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.7300. 
If you have not filed a FAFSA yet, please register to join us in Bellarmine Centro on Sunday, February 4, from 2 to 4 p.m., for a FAFSA Funday. Every student who attends will be entered in a drawing for a chance at a $500 scholarship from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority! 
More than ever before, Bellarmine University is focused on making a college education affordable for you. While this additional delay is frustrating for everyone (trust me!), I can assure you that we have a plan to evaluate individual circumstances and monitor changes with your best interests in mind. Please know that this change was federally mandated, but we are here to support you, and we will work through this together. 

Tags: Admissions , Affordability , Financial Aid



Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.