ED Provides Updated Timeline on FAFSA Processing, Student Corrections

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED), in an electronic announcement posted on Monday, provided updated benchmarks for the 2024-25 FAFSA rollout, including timeframes for when students will be able to make corrections, when forms containing previously reported errors can be reprocessed, and how many applications have been submitted and processed to date, a resource that will be updated twice weekly.

According to ED, students will have the ability to make updates and corrections to their FAFSAs in the “first half of April,” and the department plans to provide stakeholders and prospective students with “detailed information” on common FAFSA form errors. In earlier announcements, ED had stated that student corrections would be available “later in March.” However this timeline does not indicate when schools will have the ability to make corrections.

ED will also begin reprocessing applications affected by the recent technical issues impacting the reported assets of dependent students after student corrections are made available.

The department also said it intends to clear the backlog of submitted applications - roughly 6 million -  by the end of March.

In the second half of April, ED will make available the 2024-25 Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System and also release EDExpress 2024–25 2.0, which includes Pell Grant and Direct Loan modules.

“Institutions and states should consider these updates as they consider aid application and commitment deadlines for students,” the notice reads. “We encourage states and institutions to take steps to make sure all students have equitable access to aid and the opportunity to fully consider aid packages when making enrollment decisions.”

As a part of Monday’s announcement ED also provided a new resource, the “FAFSA Status tracker,” which is now available in the Knowledge Center. This resource, per ED’s guidance, will be refreshed twice a week and list the number of FAFSA forms submitted and processed by the department.

The department's announcement also reminded stakeholders that due to the signing of the fiscal year 2024 spending package, the final 24-25 maximum Pell grant award is the same as the maximum Pell grant award that ED has been using in 24-25 FAFSA processing. Therefore, there will be no reprocessing of ISIRs to adjust Pell Grant awards for the 2024-25 calendar year.

 

Publication Date: 3/26/2024


Peter G | 3/27/2024 12:11:49 PM

The Department's PR & framing of the issues still suggests a blithe disconnect from the reality. "ED has accomplished things! ED is encouraging others to do things!" Conversely, the snafu with student assets was "Vendor error."

Those pesky vendors! And hey, it's not as if ED holds schools responsible for any mistakes our vendors make.

As others note, there are also big issues unaddressed here: the delay of student corrections into April is a big deal, but here it's presented neutrally to the point anyone not tracking the conversation may not even know they're describing a delay. School corrections? Processing of paper applications?

David S | 3/26/2024 12:40:10 PM

Somebody's going to have to help me reconcile reading "The department also said it intends to clear the backlog of submitted applications - roughly 6 million - by the end of March" on March 26 with the fact that so far my office has received less than 1 ISIR for 24/25. To be more specific for you data-driven types, we've received zero.

Look at it this way. At least we can't say that this line of work is boring and predictable, that we deal with the same stuff year in, year out. Right?

Paul N | 3/26/2024 11:14:40 AM

This only seemed to address student-entered corrections. When will schools be able to submit corrections? Will that also be the first half of April, second half of April, or some other date?

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