Earlier Financial-Aid Timetable: Did It Make a Difference?

"A major change in the schedule for federal financial aid was based on a high hope: that students and families could learn of aid awards earlier, and have more time to sort out their options before choosing a college. Now there are signs that some institutions are providing this extra time," according to Education Week's High School & Beyond blog. "A report released this summer by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators found that many colleges and universities sent out their decisions about financial aid weeks or months earlier than they had in the past."

"NASFAA surveyed its members about the early effects of big changes in the application schedule for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA.

In 2016-17, for the first time, students could submit the FAFSA on Oct. 1, three months earlier than usual. The idea was to facilitate earlier aid decisions from colleges and universities.

Not all institutions in the survey provided information about whether they moved up their timing for financial-aid decisions, and the survey was small—fewer than 300 respondents. So the results should be seen only as an early, tentative sense of how higher education is responding to changes in FAFSA policy.

The survey found that one third of colleges and universities sent their merit-based financial-aid decisions to students at the same time as their admission offers this year. That's much earlier than in the past. Typically, students receive offers of admission and then have to wait weeks to learn about their financial-aid offers, putting families under pressure as deadlines loomed."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 8/10/2017

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