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