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  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

FAFSA - A Practice In Patience

For applicants and current college students, this year’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process has required a lot of patience.  Normally the form opens on October 1st for completion, but this year the newly revamped FAFSA opened about three months later.  The Department of Education had said that the data would be sent to colleges and universities in late January so that decisions on financial aid offers would start rolling out to families in early February.  

Unfortunately, this week (at the very end of January) it was announced that the data will not be sent out to institutions until the "first half of March" which will likely delay financial aid offers until early April.   There are many ripple effects and it's anticipated that some colleges may move their May 1st decision deadline for new students later as well.  Continuing students may find that their scholarship application deadlines could change (if the FAFSA was required).

It's a difficult situation for all - the students, families, and the institutions awaiting the data.  The only silver lining is that everyone is in the same boat. While it’s late, you are no later than any other family. Unfortunately every family is waiting on this critical aid information for budgeting, planning, and decision-making purposes.

Everyone who has successfully completed the application should receive an email when their FAFSA Submission Summary is available to view beginning in the first half of March. Until then, keep an eye on financial aid and/or scholarship office websites for any updates on moving deadlines.  Beyond that and some deep breathing, we’ll all be practicing a lot of patience.

At Confident College Planning, we help students and families with the college selection process, using a planful approach to reduce stress and improve success.  If you would like support with your applications, essay review, scholarships, or other steps, please contact – I’d be happy to assist!

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