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FAFSA Has Students in Shambles Nationwide


Millions of students nationwide are alarmed with the new and “improved” soft-launch of the 2024-2025 Federal Student Aid form and have been found asking themselves, “How will I ever be able to afford to go to college?” The Department of Education had originally made this launch out to be a good thing. Claiming that the old FAFSA form was out-dated and far too long. The anticipated updated FAFSA form was released in late December of 2023 (nearly a year later than anticipated), and it quickly went into the gutters with all sorts of errors, bugs, and troubles even creating an account to access the form.

Franticly, FAFSA asked us for forgiveness and grief while continuing to shut off and on the FAFSA servers. With so many Student Aid application deadlines quickly approaching for all Universities, FAFSA also asked schools to be lenient with students getting their applications received. Naturally, this has upset a lot of students as they feel lost and hopeless regarding their student loans and grants.

The core issues within the FAFSA were students who have family members without Social Security Numbers not being able to create accounts, limited accessibility to the form due to the soft-launch, the speed in which applications are processed, not being able to provide proper signatures, and corrections not being able to be made after the form is processed (of course, there is many, many more issues). All of these factors combined have made this a total catastrophe. Colleges have handled it decently though, trying to push back application deadlines as far as they can and have seemed to be pretty quick in responding to questions. Will this limit the amount of aid students can get? Additionally, rumors have been circulating about the 24-25 FAFSA not factoring inflation when calculating students SAI’s, predicted Federal Pell Grant amounts, and Federal Direct Loan amounts. This is pretty concerning, especially seeing how many schools are increasing their tuition costs this upcoming academic school year.

Being a senior currently, this is a rude awakening into college life. I find this whole situation to be handled very unprofessionally and not very thought-out. The constant soft-launches, inconsistent website accessibility times, and other general issues are really hard to work around. We have been forced to be patient and wallow in the uncertainty of our future financial stability. I appreciate the efforts of Federal Aid and the Department of Education, I believe this whole process was in the right place of mind for our futures but unfortunately was executed poorly and within too short of a time to do it all properly. Hopefully we will see a change in the future.

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    Trista OsgoodApr 16, 2024 at 12:13 pm

    Great article! A lot of us are waiting not-so patiently.