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FAFSA Delays Harm Students and Institutions

Yet another delay in the botched roll-out of the new FAFSA is negatively impacting both students and the schools they wish to attend. 

Typically, the next academic year’s FAFSA opens for students to submit in October of the previous year, but for the 24-25 academic year, the new form didn’t launch until late December 2023. Schools usually receive student aid information records back from the Department of Education within 24-28 hours of student submission. This allows the institution to provide aid packages back to the students in a timely manner, which informs enrollment decisions. Further issues with the form have prevented schools from receiving this information for months, and the Department of Education has announced that institutions will not begin receiving it until late March, at the earliest. 

This is particularly problematic for schools that have year-round, rolling enrollment, as students are increasingly apprehensive about committing to an institution in the absence of concrete aid packages. Foremost, we’re concerned about the impact on student veterans who depend on timely aid offers to make enrollment decisions. The new FAFSA form was congressionally mandated to make obtaining federal aid easier for those who need it most, but these delays are harming the very students the aid is intended to help. 

Despite these hurdles, we encourage student veterans to stay the course with their schools of choice. The delays and uncertainty are caused by the government, not the institution. Colleges and universities are trying their best to provide current information and accurate aid estimates. 

Don’t give up on your dream of earning a degree at your school! 

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