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The Seahawk

FAFSA delays: what’s next for students

FAFSA applications may be delayed until March (Andril Dodonov/iStock). (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Following the redesign of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the U.S. Department of Education released a statement on Jan. 30, saying most colleges will not receive decisions until around mid-March. In previous years, most applicant information was released around late January.

One of the issues is related to the FAFSA’s affordability calculation, also known as the “Student Aid Index,” which estimates how much a family can afford to pay for their student. With this new calculation, an additional $1.8 billion in aid will be provided for incoming college students.

The purpose of the redesign was to simplify the FAFSA form to ensure more students of low-income backgrounds would receive Federal Pell Grants. The overhaul to the FAFSA system was passed by Congress from mandates in 2019 and 2020. The updated form was released on Dec. 30 and was expected to allow more students to be eligible for aid. More than 3.1 million applications have been successfully submitted and now await further action.

In 2022, the Biden administration requested additional funding for the overhaul, but Congress opted to leave the budget the same as the previous year.

“UNCW still hopes to release financial aid notifications to new admits by April 1 and a formal communication will be released soon and once exact plans are finalized,” said the UNCW FINAID office in a statement released to The Seahawk. “The timeline for notifications being sent to current and returning students should remain unchanged and are expected to be released soon after spring grades are due in May as in prior years.”

 

This is a developing story. We will update you as the situation continues.

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