The US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office released an update this week announcing that the earliest the Department will begin transmitting FAFSA applicant information to schools and state agencies is the first half of March.
We are deeply concerned by the impact this further delay will have on students and families who are depending on financial aid offers in order to pursue their higher education goals. This disruption to the typical enrollment timeline is certain to create increased anxiety for all students depending on some sort of financial aid, especially low-income students navigating this already stressful and complex process.
We appreciate that some colleges and universities are already delaying their May 1 decision deadlines and urge that all follow suit in order to allow adequate time for students to weigh their offers.
IECA will continue to bring our members the latest information on changes to the FAFSA rollout, and how students and families will be impacted. Members can access our recorded webinar on the new FAFSA, join and follow discussions on the Member Network, and bring their questions to upcoming monthly member roundtables. We encourage you to continue to stay informed and patient during this challenging process, and to advise your client-families to do the same.
In early March, IECA leadership will meet with legislators on Capitol Hill for our second annual advocacy event. We will advocate for greater clarity in the financial aid award process through the standardization of college financial aid offers proposed in the Understanding the True Cost of College Act. We will also urge legislators to consider the challenges faced by students and families imposed by the new FAFSA rollout.
We will continue to advocate for the independent educational consulting profession and the best interests of our members, students, and families.