NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — More kids are going to college, but most need help paying for it — and as a result, the U.S. is currently seeing what leaders say is the largest overhaul of federal student aid in years.

KX News visited with local schools to learn more about the changes affecting your kids and their financial future.

The FAFSA Simplification Act will bring major changes to the process of applying for federal student aid — and they begin by alterings the time of year when you apply for the service.

“Things that families should keep in mind is that the FAFSA application will be available later than normal,” said U-Mary’s Director of Student Financial Services Karrie Huber. “Families should plan some time in December. Know that, because the FAFSA is later, schools will get financial aid out as soon as they can — after the holidays, likely.”

Teachers say that this two-month delay may cause frustration for seniors in high school who already know where they want to go and would like to see how much aid they could qualify for — however, despite the later application time, there are plenty of other changes may make the process easier for students and their families.

According to student, the FAFSA Simplification Act will also increase eligibility for the Pell Grant — meaning that you may not need to pay back the federal money you would receive from it.

“The other changes are positive, because, with FAFSA simplification, the FAFSA should be a simpler form,” Huber continued. “The government has shared with us that there should be more encryption to protect students and families, and the data that they share with schools. The goal with the simplification process is to also change the need evaluation, so there will certainly be some differences — but hopefully, we’ll have more students within Pell range.”

If you’re thinking these changes will cause too much of a hassle to go through with the application process, teachers recommend that you still apply anyway — even if you are unsure that there is a purpose to doing so.

“I think a lot of kids think, ‘Well, I don’t think I’ll qualify for anything, so I’m not going to apply,'” stated Bismarck High School Guidance Counselor Julie Berg. “But we really do encourage them, because you just never know what you could qualify for.”

Teachers also recommend you check out and the Bank of North Dakota for help with federal student aid and scholarships. To learn more about the FAFSA Simplification Act, visit this page.