College Students Might Be Waiting A Lot Longer for Financial Aid Offers Due to This FAFSA Change

"The Education Department (ED) is fixing an error in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which means colleges won’t get student’s FAFSA applications until early March," Her Campus reports.

..."On Oct. 30, The President of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Justin Draeger said, 'These continued delays, communicated at the last minute, threaten to harm the very students and families that federal student aid is intended to help.' Draeger also said in an earlier statement on Oct. 23 that adjusting the formula is 'the right thing to do,' although it 'should have been done from the beginning.'

As of Jan. 30, 3.1 million people successfully applied using the new FAFSA. However, it’s only after the FAFSA is submitted to colleges that students receive information about how much financial aid they get. The delays mean college financial aid offices will have to work double-time to get financial aid packages out in a timely manner. Colleges are also going through a learning curve with the new form. 

According to a statement Draeger made to NPRstudents likely won’t get their financial aid information until April, giving them less time to decide where they want to go to college. Since many FAFSA-users rely on the aid colleges award them, some financial aid administrators and colleges worry this mistake will dictate whether some students make it to college this year."

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Publication Date: 1/31/2024

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