The New FAFSA Is Here At Last. Well, Sort of

"Filling out the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid this year is a little like trying to buy tickets online to a Taylor Swift Eras Tour concert. FAFSA users are encountering strict criteria to log onto the site, long wait periods, and system crashes from overuse." Education Week reports.

"The stakes are a little higher for the 2024-25 FAFSA, though. It’s the only way to receive federal assistance for college tuition. The U.S. Department of Education released the new FAFSA via a “soft launch” on Dec. 31, announcing that, initially, the site will be available only periodically, thereby allowing for monitoring of performance. Typically, the application is released in October.

The long-awaited, revised FAFSA is the result of congressional legislation to make it easier to apply for federal student aid. So far, that promise has yet to be realized.

'It was definitely a bumpy start,' said Jill Desjean, the senior policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, referencing anecdotal reports of users’ inability to get onto the site or to continue once they did gain access, as well as problems submitting completed applications.

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Publication Date: 1/17/2024

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