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Colleges not getting FAFSA data on time may cause financial aid delays

The U.S. Department of Education said that over 3.1 million FAFSA forms have been submitted since Dec. 30.
Posted at 7:57 PM, Jan 31, 2024

The federal student loan program has hit a pothole in a road that was supposed to be smoothed out.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that colleges will not start receiving financial aid information from the Free Application for Student Aid, known as FAFSA, until early March; that's over a month later than expected, as it was originally going to be sent out late in January.

The Department of Education had made changes to the form, designed to simplify things and make more financial aid available as it takes inflation into consideration, an adjustment that will make an additional $1.8 billion in financial aid available. However, some glitches in the rollout slowed things down.

Students typically get their financial aid letters in March and make their college choices by May 1, so that timeline could be in trouble this spring.

“The Better FAFSA makes it as simple and easy as possible for families to get help paying for college, and updating our tables will help even more students get the help they need” said Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal in a press release. “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.” 

The department said that over 3.1 million FAFSA forms have been submitted since Dec. 30.