BREAKING... DOE Announces, Kind of, Date FAFSA will be Available
BREAKING...the Department of Education has said the new FAFSA (the federal financial aid application required by all colleges) will most likely be available on December 31.
Here's a quick summary of what this means to you if you're applying for aid for the 2024-2025 academic year.
First of all, years ago, days of yore, this is when the FAFSA used to be available. I used to call it FAFSA New Year.
From what I’ve read, financial aid officers at most colleges have basically said that they won't be able to get to see the submitted data until the end of January, at the earliest. Behind the scenes, they are scrambling. They're already outmanned and untrained as it is. The new FAFSA will require more training, more technical computer integration and other stuff I don't understand like mainframes, meta elements and parallel processing.
That means you won't see your financial aid award until mid-February at the earliest. Don't panic if it takes longer.
I'll put money on the fact that many financial aid awards will be incorrect because glitches will invariably occur. Check your financial aid awards closely, and question your (outmanned, undertrained) financial aid officer if you think there's a problem.
Because of said glitches, I recommend waiting at least a week or two after December 31 to file your FAFSA, if you do it yourself. I will file 500+ for my clients this year, I’m going to wait for the glitches to be ironed out, hopefully by the second week of January.
Colleges are aware of these issues, of course. Don’t worry, as long as you file before their deadlines you should be fine.
Expect colleges to extend commitment deadlines (usually May1st), because money, financial aid, is a major determinate of where a student will matriculate. You can't decide where to go to college without knowing what it will cost you, right?
Don't panic. It will all work out. Take deep breaths and consider self-medicating. Trust me, I'm a college advisor so I'm qualified to give medical advice.