Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - Louisiana students and parents know the headache that is FAFSA, the online forms necessary if a student is applying for financial aid. Any college student who wants assistance in the form of grants or loans must complete the application. In Louisiana, a high schooler who qualifies for TOPS, the state-funded scholarship, is required to provide all of the information on the FAFSA to get the award.

In Louisiana, students have been required to complete the financial aid forms in order to graduate and get their diploma.

Until now.

Louisiana's BESE has decided to drop the requirement because it believes the process may be unnecessarily cumbersome on parents. Some families who wouldn't qualify for assistance or whose students aren't going to receive TOPS are asked to provide personal and financial information on FAFSA, and BESE says it's unfair to mandate that they go through the extra step just to graduate from high school.

READ MORE: Does New FAFSA Form Make the Process Easier?

BESE President Ronnie Morris told Louisiana Radio Network:

We want to do everything we can to support our students, to prepare our students for a career in college after graduation and then support them along the way. But we just didn’t feel this should be a requirement for graduation.

Students will still be required to complete the online application to determine whether they qualify for financial aid, but Morris says they will now be able to sign a state-approved waiver if they want to receive their diploma without doing so.

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Morris says schools will continue to help students and families complete the FAFSA so they can apply for scholarships, grants, and loans. Louisiana has ranked ear the top for having the highest number of high school seniors complete the financial aid forms.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker