Education & Family

A new FAFSA setback means many college financial aid offers won’t come until April

When that repair was introduced, Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), mentioned it was “the right thing to do.”

Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal mentioned in a press release Tuesday, “Updating our calculations will help students qualify for as much financial aid as possible. Thank you to the financial aid advisers, college counselors, and many others helping us put students first.”

Kvaal and the division know this delay will hit college financial aid workplaces particularly exhausting and additional compress their timeline for sending out financial aid offers. Draeger tells NPR that if faculties don’t obtain FAFSA knowledge until early to mid-March, many of them possible received’t have the ability to ship financial aid offers to college students until April. For many of these college students, that leaves lower than a month earlier than they’re anticipated to decide to a college.

Charles Conn, a high aid administrator at Cal Poly Pomona, tells NPR he’s “relieved” the Education Department is fixing that $1.8 billion mistake, however “our hearts sank as we learned that schools will now not begin receiving FAFSA data until the first part of March, at the earliest.”

“It’s going to be difficult to get aid offers out to prospective students before April,” says Brad Barnett, the financial aid director at James Madison University in Virginia. “It’s unfortunate that these delays could impact whether a prospective student goes to college at all this fall, or at the very least where they go.”

The downside for faculties — which, by extension, is now an issue for households too — is that, as a result of this 12 months’s FAFSA is the results of a massive overhaul, financial aid workplaces aren’t completely positive what to anticipate from the info they’ll be receiving. Ideally, they’d like a number of weeks to grasp the new datasets and do some high quality management of the new financial aid course of.

“Schools are furiously reworking their timelines to see just how quickly they could turn around financial aid offers for students, to get them accurate aid offers as soon as possible,” says Draeger of NASFAA. But he factors out, “This could be more difficult for under-resourced institutions that lack the funding, staffing, or technology capabilities of their peers.”

This new setback offers faculties little or no room for error.

Scott Skaro, the financial aid director at United Tribes Technical College, in North Dakota, says this new FAFSA timeline can be robust on tribal faculties, the place greater than 80% of scholars are low revenue and qualify for a federal Pell Grant.

“This is pretty devastating news,” says Skaro.

It’s good, he says, that the division is appearing to verify college students get all of the aid they’re entitled to, however not having the ability to make aid offers to potential college students until April or May might additionally do actual hurt.

“Our students rely on the peace of mind that comes with grant aid. And this uncertainty may lead them away from education. I don’t want the seniors of 2024 to be just a lost generation.”

He worries that the longer seniors have to attend to know if college is inexpensive, the more durable will probably be for some to withstand “the temptations to just find some entry-level job and give up on additional schooling. I just worry how many there are out there.”

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see extra, go to

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button