‘Time for Plan B’: The FAFSA Waiting Game Is Forcing Colleges to Adjust on the Fly

"Rob Reddy knew things were about to unravel. Late last year, as everyone and their dog was waiting for the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to finally become available, he saw exactly what college officials everywhere saw: 'It was very apparent that this thing was gonna go bad and there were going to be delays,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

..."Such moves, which could benefit students and institutions alike, are an attempt to spin confusion into certainty, to kick-start a still-stalled federal-aid process. How quickly that process finally gets rolling will determine whether colleges can get aid offers out the door. Some financial-aid officials told The Chronicle that they doubt they will be able to get all aid offers out before mid-April, which would leave applicants with little time to compare offers."

"'Colleges are anxiously waiting for test records from the Department of Education so they can stress-test their information systems,' said Justin Draeger, president and chief executive of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'Whether they’re system-ready will depend on how robust those test ISIRs are and whether colleges have a good number of them. Like, are they given just a few, or do they start getting dozens and dozens? And the next question is how long it takes those ISIRs to fully download to the institutions, because this is not like an electric switch, where you flip it and the lights turn on. Those are the huge factors that will ultimately determine whether aid offers are out in the first week in April, the last week in April, or somewhere in between.'"

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 2/13/2024

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