July 14, 2024

What to know about this year’s FAFSA delay

Students expecting financial aid packages this year will likely have to wait a little longer for their awards to be sent.

The Department of Education announced on Jan. 30 it would delay sending out financial aid data to schools until March, despite previous reassurances that it would do so at the end of January.

“The FAFSA normally opens Oct. 1,” said Mary Cannon, director of financial aid at the university. The 2024-2025 FAFSA launched on Dec. 31, 2023. Previous FAFSA launches opened around October.

Frances Robbins (left), financial aid counselor, and Mary Cannon (right), director of financial aid, pose together in Mary’s office. Photo by Marvin Wurr.

“After it opened in January, the U.S. Department of Education indicated that schools will begin receiving FAFSAs by the end of January,” Cannon said. “On the 30th, I believe the announcement came out that now the U.S. Department of Education has pushed that deadline even further into mid-March.”

Cannon notes these delays are likely to have repercussions on students nationwide.

“I think that this delay is going to have a negative impact on very distinct populations,” Cannon said. “And I think that’s the concerning piece for us as financial aid professionals… students who maybe don’t have support to file the FAFSA or are uncomfortable and scared… those students are going to be those that are the most affected by this delay.”

Despite these concerns, Cannon notes the 2024-2025 FAFSA form is much easier to fill out.

“It’s much easier and we’ve heard that from a lot of students that it’s happening a lot quicker, a lot less questions,” Cannon said.

The 2024-2025 FAFSA form has also replaced the Expected Family Contribution section of the application with a new Student Aid Index amount. Cannon said this change will likely result in more students being eligible for Pell Grant awards.

Though FAFSA data is expected to arrive at the university in mid-March, Cannon said packages will likely be sent out to students a week or two later.

 “We have to be sure that all of our systems are working and everything is up to speed and ready to accept because not only is it delayed, but it is completely redesigned from the old FAFSA,” Cannon said.

February is considered Financial Aid Awareness month by many institutions, including the university. The Office of Financial Aid is planning on providing increased levels of support throughout the month.

 “As an institution, we’re trying to make some decisions as to what can we do not only for our students here on campus, maybe for our incoming students, but even our community around us,” Cannon said.

Those with further inquiries into the new FAFSA process can contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@capital.edu.

The federal deadline for the 2024-2025 FAFSA is June 30, 2024.

Author

  • Marvin Wurr

    Marvin is a third-year English literature major. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with friends at bars and watching straight-to-DVD action flicks.

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