NASFAA Urges FSA to Consider Action Plan for Upcoming FAFSA Rollout

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Managing Editor

NASFAA joined seven other higher education organizations in a letter urging Federal Student Aid (FSA) to consider a number of recommendations should the Department of Education (ED) launch the FAFSA later than its typical October 1 release date.

During NASFAA’s Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo FSA did not commit to an Oct. 1, 2023, launch date for the 2024-25 FAFSA and instead reiterated that the FAFSA will be launched by Jan. 1, 2024, as is required by law.

“We write to offer recommendations to mitigate potential harm to students in the event of a delayed launch,” the letter reads. “Because the formula and process for applying for federal student aid is changing significantly, we anticipate that students and those who support students in completing the FAFSA will have a lot of questions about the process. A delayed release date could compound that confusion and result in a decline in applicants for federal student aid. We want to work with you to avoid that scenario.”

The signatories, who represent groups that work directly with students who access financial aid, among other things, call for FSA to commit to a specific release date of the FAFSA and formally release a Pell Grant lookup table by May 1, 2023. By FSA committing to a roadmap, stakeholders would be able to adjust their processing systems and help ensure that students can assess their postsecondary options in college advising workshops and counseling sessions throughout the summer and fall of 2023.

The groups also urge FSA’s chief operating officer, Richard Cordray, to launch a communications plan about a possible delay in the rollout by July 1, 2023.

“If the FAFSA is delayed, it will be critical for FSA to take proactive steps to stem confusion in the field to the greatest degree possible,” the letter reads. “We recommend that FSA deliver clear and simple messages for all impacted stakeholders, especially students and families, about what the delay does and doesn’t mean for their financial aid.”

Additionally, the letter calls on FSA to produce training materials on the parent wizard program and to implement a new training process for obtaining an FSA ID by July 1, 2023.

Stay tuned to Today’s News for more coverage of the FAFSA rollout and all things FAFSA simplification


Publication Date: 3/15/2023

Aesha E | 3/16/2023 11:40:59 AM

In all fairness, I'm pretty sure that the enforcement unit has little to nothing to do with the FAFSA roll-out or FAFSA simplification. That would be like asking a college not to introduce a new program because the information services department is launching a new upgrade.

Jeff A | 3/15/2023 10:3:51 AM

It is way more important to focus on secret shoppers, name and shame lists, and solicitations to rat on your college, The FAFSA roll-out and things to streamline FA like using back-end verification within ED's systems must take a back-seat.

Brenda B | 3/15/2023 9:16:49 AM

Planning for the 24-25 FAFSA cycle and recruitment of students is already underway. Now, Admissions and FA Offices are working on PRINTED materials to educate students and parents this summer and next fall about completing a 24-25 FAFSA. Details for a 24-25 FAFSA including file layouts and availability of the form need to be determined as soon as possible and preferably by March 30. What do we tell our Communications staff about when to the file the 24-25 FAFSA? Many offices are working on 23-24 calendars of important dates for students and are asking, WHEN will the 24-25 FAFSA be available for filing?

Brenda B | 3/15/2023 9:3:51 AM

I advocate they delay implementation of all these changes to 25-26. The Department of Education and all others involved are not ready to release the 24-25 FAFSA, the file layouts etc. All do not know how to program and ensure their systems accommodate all these changes. There is so much training to be completed for all these changes. In the best interest of students and their families, I hope implementation is delayed to 25-26.

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