One FAFSA Delay After Another

by | Gianna DiPasquale

Editor-in-Chief

 

At the beginning of this school year it was announced that the 2024-2025 FAFSA would be organized differently than previous years. Many people believed that it was meant to be easier, and more efficient for students and families. This has failed to show though, as FAFSA as encountered several snags in the process, and the government has made its fair share of mistakes.

 

Financial aid should not be this difficult.

 

As of last Tuesday January 30, reports on a $1.8 billion mistake made by the government were being sent out around the nation. This error caused FAFSA to have to release a statement saying that they were going to have to delay the processing of financial aid applications by 4 to 6 weeks. This makes it incredibly worrying and detrimental for students because this could mean some students won’t receive their financial aid packages until April or May, which is when several schools require students to confirm their admission.

 

The other issue with this is that it sets universities and colleges farther behind on schedule. Some universities require students to put payments down on a dorm within the next month to two months. This puts a very strenuous timeline on students, which means that schools are going to have to adjust their deadlines, which sets back any progress that could have been made for the upcoming school year.

 

The greatest problem this poses for students and schools is the chances of students losing their chance at going to school. If financial aid packages are delayed by so long, students who rely on that heavily for college could feel discouraged and give up on their opportunity for higher education. The window to send confirmation to colleges will be reduced significantly, which creates too great of a risk for students and families. This in turn hurts the number of incoming freshmen for universities.

 

The main defense for the delay is that recovering the $1.8 billion will adjust, and possibly increase, the amount of money students would receive, however they fail to understand the cost students are already paying. It’s not just how tuition has continually increased over the years, but it’s also the mental and emotional stress students endure to get accepted into college, and then to have it put in limbo like this. 

 

This year’s FAFSA has just been a series of delays over and over again. From having the opening date pushed to the end of December, to maintenance issues, to now a $1.8 billion mistake that is costing students the security they need for their future. The hoops students have to jump through just to achieve the chance at a degree is absurd. Financial is a necessity for many, which means it should be accessible, not another stressor.



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