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  • Writer's pictureJeff Boron

Initial FAFSA Rollout Rocky Across US - We Can Help - FAFSA News Network

Updated: Jan 19


a blog graphic for college planning initial fafsa rollout rocky across us with a girl reading a paper slumping

Welcome back to the Send Your Kids to College blog! If it’s your first time, we recommend going back and checking out some of the categories to learn more, but we offer up bites of info for WNY families planning for college. If you need a hand, give us a call! How’s the new FAFSA treating you all out there? We’d like to know! Today we’re going to be highlighting some of the issues with FAFSA presented in news articles so you can be informed on what to expect. We recommend reaching out to talk to a professional if you need help, we can assist! 


Here’s what is being reported on the new FAFSA form for 2024.


The FAFSA “Soft Lunch” Was Not Smooth

Roughly 17 million students across the United States utilize the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year, and they, like you, have already been waiting. Delays and confusion surrounding the date and new year were shrouded in false promises of tools and web resources that would aid families in the “simplified” form moving forward. Well, the opening of the floodgates was not so simple after all. 


The opening date was an entire 3 months later than usual, with the former FAFSA starting on October 1st. The new form finally arrived December 30th, but appeared to be limited in availability during the initial “soft launch.” According to NPR, a department spokesperson said the new 2024 FAFSA form was open and available for a half an hour each of the first two days, and two hours on January 1st. The form then went live from 8am-8pm EST. Because of the influx of online traffic of eager students aiming to take a necessary step as soon as possible, webmasters were forced to create an online waiting room to manage capacity. Now it is actually open 24 hours a day, thankfully.


What Will the New FAFSA Timeline Mean for Families?

With the entire third quarter of the year previously being open for FAFSA, this provided extra time for families to get their forms done, but it also provided more time for colleges to prepare and send their aid offers. This will and already has made it more difficult for colleges to connect with students, and students to connect with their top choices for college. How will a parent or student pick a school if they don’t have the price tag?


One factor that many are pointing to is the lack of adjustment for inflation in this new FAFSA


When this new normal went through the legal system, lawmakers told the Education Department to adjust the math on the formula for college aid, which is based on a family’s income, because of inflation. This, according to the Washington Post, was not done, which could mean a less productive level of federal student aid. Why?


Failing to account for inflation means on paper, parents and families appear to make more than they really do. When salaries go up, so does the cost of expenses, so you’re being asked to pay more for college than you have actually made, if not adjusted. Pell grants were one thing that the new FAFSA was allegedly going to help, with more students being eligible, but some think that without adjusting for inflation, this won’t be the case. Many students could either get less Pell Grant aid than they typically would, or just not qualify. 


A College Planning Expert Can Help with FAFSA

One positive side of this shaky story is that if you’ve got help. If you need assistance or have questions regarding FAFSA, simply get in touch with us via contact form or by phone. We will be able to simply take care of anything you need as smoothly and quickly as possible. We recommend not waiting for the smoke to clear, as the earlier you get your FAFSA in, the better chances you have of getting grants and additional aid.

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