Buggy Federal Financial-Aid App Causes Some NJ Colleges to Push Back Enrollment Deadlines

"Several New Jersey colleges are extending enrollment deadlines for incoming freshmen after a series of delays in the rollout of federal financial aid applications," NJ Spotlight reports.

..."And the issues don’t end with the delays. There are currently 14 active issues with the application listed on the Education Department’s website. Five do not have workarounds and prevent students from applying for financial aid online until the issue is resolved.

'At the highest priority level are those unresolved issues that actually prevent someone from being able to complete a FAFSA at all,' said Karen McCarthy, vice president of public policy and federal relations for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. This category includes students with a parent who does not have a Social Security number and cannot fill out the parent information on the form.

Millions of forms submitted

The form is typically available in October, but this application cycle it was not released until late December in the form of a “soft launch.” The FAFSA is now available for most current seniors to apply for aid to attend college during the next academic year. The updated form has fewer questions, which is supposed to make it faster to fill out and lead to higher completion rates. Nearly 4 million forms have been successfully submitted, according to the department. This is far below the 17.5 million forms submitted during the 2021–2022 application cycle, according to Federal Student Aid data.

The department said it will likely send FAFSA information to colleges in the first half of March. McCarthy said it will probably still take several weeks for even the most well-resourced institutions to send aid offers to students after receiving the data. Typically, aid offers are delivered around the same time as acceptance letters."

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: 2/20/2024

View Desktop Version