The U.S. Division of Schooling introduced on January 30, 2024 that processing of the FAFSA can be additional delayed till March because it corrects the lacking inflationary changes within the monetary support method.
The FAFSA Simplification Act, which was a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, requires the federal monetary support method to be adjusted for inflation. The U.S. Division of Schooling initially stated that they might not be updating the method till the 2025-2026 FAFSA. However, this may trigger thousands and thousands of scholars to qualify for much less support than they deserve.
The U.S. Division of Schooling has modified course, deciding to replace the method in any case. Updating the method will allow college students to obtain an extra $1.8 billion in federal scholar support, along with extra monetary support from state and school grant applications.
However, updating the Federal Processing System (FPS) to implement the corrected monetary support method will trigger extra delays in implementing the simplified FAFSA.
It is a actual mess.
It’s unclear why it takes so lengthy to replace the monetary support method. If the system had been designed in a modular method, it ought to have taken lower than a day to implement the adjustments.
Lengthy Delay In Processing Submitted FAFSAs
Faculties had been speculated to obtain the Institutional Pupil Info Data (ISIR), which comprise a subset of FAFSA data, together with the Pupil Assist Index (SAI), by the top of January, which was already 4 months late. Now they must wait an extra month and a half.
The U.S. Division of Schooling will begin sending ISIRS to colleges and state businesses within the first half of March. This doesn’t imply that every one ISIRs can be transmitted by the Ides of March, simply that the method will begin by then. There could also be extra delays.
Influence Of The FAFSA Delays
The five-and-a-half month delay in making FAFSA data out there to high schools will wreak havoc on the faculty admission and monetary support course of.
Highschool seniors are unlikely to obtain monetary support provides till a minimum of April, and perhaps not till Might or June.
They could have to decide on a school with out understanding how a lot it’ll price them.
College students are unable to make corrections to their FAFSAs or add extra schools till the universities obtain the ISIRs.
Faculties could should delay the deadline for accepting a proposal of admission properly past the standard Might 1 Determination Day.
A small variety of schools use the CSS Profile kind for awarding their very own monetary support funds. These schools might be able to present college students with estimated monetary support packages. However, different schools are simply caught ready for the FAFSA.
Fewer 2024-2025 FAFSAs Have Been Submitted This 12 months
The U.S. Division of Schooling introduced that 3.1 million FAFSAs have been submitted as of the top of January. However, that compares with greater than 6 million FAFSAs as of January 31 final yr.
The delayed availability of the FAFSA could have contributed to a decrease variety of FAFSAs being submitted.
The brand new FAFSA has additionally been plagued with issues, not all of which have been resolved. A few of these issues are stopping college students from submitting the FAFSA. For instance, some mother and father have been unable to acquire an FSA ID, which is required to signal the FAFSA electronically. Of a dozen issues listed on the FAFSA Concern Alerts web page, solely three have been resolved. Many extra issues don’t seem on this web page.
The utmost Federal Pell Grant is just not but out there as a result of Congress has not but accomplished the appropriations course of. This may increasingly pressure the FAFSA knowledge to be reprocessed if the brand new most grant quantity is just not but out there by March.
Members of Congress are involved concerning the delays. Rep. Virginia Foxx, chair of the Home Committee on Schooling and the Workforce, and greater than two dozen of her colleagues within the Home and Senate have requested the united statesGovernment Accountability Workplace (GAO) to open an investigation into the delayed rollout of the brand new FAFSA.