HomeFinance NewsPersonal financeFAFSA Fiasco: Education Department Struggles with Rollout, Leaving Students in the Lurch

FAFSA Fiasco: Education Department Struggles with Rollout, Leaving Students in the Lurch


Amid rocky FAFSA rollout, Education Department looks to smooth the so-far bumpy debut — ‘too little, too late,’ expert says


The U.S. Department of Education has announced a new strategy to support colleges in processing FAFSA forms more efficiently.

The rollout of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid has faced numerous setbacks.

As a result, college award letters are likely to be delayed.

This strategy involves allocating additional personnel, funding, resources, and technology to help colleges manage the application process.

Additionally, a “concierge service” will be available to answer queries and assist colleges in increasing FAFSA completion rates.

The delays have pushed the distribution of FAFSA information to colleges from late January to early March.

Consequently, financial aid award letters may not be sent until April or later.

This delay impacts students and their families in comparing financial aid packages and making college decisions before National College Decision Day on May 1st.

Moreover, the number of students applying for financial aid has decreased compared to previous years.

Only 3.6 million students have filed the 2024-25 FAFSA form, significantly lower than the average 17 million who usually apply.

One of the key challenges is related to contributors to the FAFSA form, such as parents who are not U.S. citizens or lack a Social Security number.

The Department of Education aims to resolve these issues by fixing bugs and allowing contributors to obtain FSA IDs to sign the form electronically.

  • Overall sentiment: negative
  • Positive

    “The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday it is introducing a support strategy with additional personnel, funding, resources and technology to help colleges process FAFSA forms without further delay.”


    “However, it is still likely college award letters will be late.”

    “More from Personal Finance:Here’s what to do if your financial aid letter is late.”

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