April 4, 2024

New FAFSA Updates

Updated 4/4/24 with edits and new information added on 4/5/24

Last week, USA Today (3/29/24) reported that “two-thirds of colleges and universities polled in a new survey said they don’t believe they’ll be able to successfully process student financial aid data in the next few weeks.” However, we have seen some Class 101-Dayton seniors begin to receive their final financial aid packages or estimated financial aid packages from colleges.

This week, the Department of Education announced that 6.6 million FAFSAs have been processed, which is nearly all that have been submitted as of April 1, 2024. This means colleges now have the student information and will begin processing financial packages for students.


  1. Log into your FAFSA to make sure that it has processed 
  2. If a student needs to add a signature, add colleges, or correct information, continue to log into the FAFSA daily. Please know this is not an unusual challenge. Some institutions are reporting as high as 25% of ISIRs received are in need of signatures or corrections. The ability to make corrections should be available by mid-April, and we encourage you to make necessary updates as soon as you are able. 
  3. Students should continue to watch for messages from their college(s). Check emails daily, reply to texts from admissions, etc. 

In the April 2 FAFSA update posted for college financial aid officials, the Federal Student Aid Office stated that they will reprocess approximately 7% of processed FAFSAs to correct errors that were discovered in Institutional Student Information Records—known as ISIRs—sent from the Federal Student Aid Office to colleges before March 21. At first, the Federal Student Aid Office stated that, when “adjustments would result in less aid to students, [they] will not reprocess unless asked to do so by schools after exercising their professional judgment.” Just days later, the Federal Student Aid Office changed course and decided that all FAFSAs processed with errors would be processed again. Colleges are able to access a list of students whose FAFSAs will be reprocessed.

Despite the fact that college applicants are up 6% this year (Common App), FAFSA applications are down significantly. The Federal Student Aid Office now states that newly filed FAFSAs will be processed in just a few business days. FAFSA frustrations and confusion are discouraging, but the process is improving. If you have not completed the FAFSA, we encourage you to do so now! 

As your family completes the FAFSA or has questions about the 2024-2025 financial aid process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 937-705-5113.


Updated 2/3/24

On Tuesday, January 30, the Department of Education announced delays to the financial aid process that affect financial aid notifications for all students. 

More than 3.1 million students have completed the FAFSA. This is outstanding, but we want to encourage all students to complete the form now despite the delays in processing FAFSAs. According to Mark Kantrowitz, a nationally recognized financial aid expert and creator of FastWeb, more than 6 million FAFSAs were filed and processed at this time last year. 

In streamlining the FAFSA form, Department of Education officials failed to account for inflation in new calculations for the Student Aid Index. Therefore, the processing of all FAFSAs is delayed. Colleges will not receive the FAFSA data from the Department of Education until March, and families will not be able to see the processed FAFSA or make corrections until that time. This is presenting a significant challenge to college financial aid officials, who now have an increasingly small window in which to receive FAFSA data and develop financial aid offers. 

Families should stay the course, but we want to add this advice. When students receive texts or emails from the admissions counselors at their colleges, we encourage all students to answer them. Students might receive text or email surveys asking about their interest. As colleges work to understand who is more likely to attend, they may send additional information, delay accepted student day events, or add more opportunities to visit campus. Colleges may even be able to send possible financial aid scenarios to students before they receive the data from the FAFSA. And these draft scenarios could help students and families understand estimated costs before they have to make enrollment decisions. 

As your family completes the FAFSA or has questions about the 2024-2025 financial aid process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


Updated 12/27/23

Do not rush to complete FAFSA: FSA Will Process Early FAFSAs in Late January

In mid-December, the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office in the U.S. Department of Education made an important request of families who will complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this year: do not rush to complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens

Every year at Class 101-Dayton, we ask our families to wait a few days when the FAFSA opens so that any glitches in the program can be addressed. With the launch of the new FAFSA this year, this is also the advice from the FSA. Late December into January are considered a “soft launch” of the FAFSA. According to this announcement, students and families “do not need to rush to fill out the form immediately when the soft launch period opens, as FSA will not transmit results to schools until later in January.”

Additional things to note:

*When a student completes all sections of the FAFSA with their contributors, the student can expect to receive a confirmation email with the date of submission, estimated Student Aid Index, and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility. This year, however, the student will not receive a summary of their FAFSA until FSA processes the FAFSA, beginning in late January. Therefore, students who complete the FAFSA as soon as it’s open may wait nearly a month for their summaries.

*There will be brief pauses in the FAFSA site’s accessibility for scheduled maintenance and as unscheduled issues arise. If you are already logged in and working on your FAFSA when this happens, it should not affect your progress. If you cannot login, simply return to the site later to try again.

*Families can act now to attain their FSA IDs on StudentAid.Gov. If a parent has an FSA ID from completing a FAFSA in the past for another student, the same credentials should be used.

Class 101-Dayton FAFSA meetings for Seniors begin in January for our students. However, we know this can be a confusing time for all families; please reach out to us at 937-705-5113 with your questions.


Updated 11/16/23

The Department of Education announced on November 15 that students and families can expect to be able to access the 2024-2025 FAFSA by December 31, 2023. Read the announcement here.

Families can plan ahead by looking at the prototype form posted online. However, according to the Department of Education, “the prototype is not an early release.” The form may be different when it is released, but the prototype “can be used as a tool to better understand the experience that 2024–25 applicants may have.”

At Class 101, we understand that the financial aid process can be confusing or stressful for many families. Changes in the college process can happen at any time, and it is our job to stay on top of the changes so you don’t have to.

Class 101 Senior families can expect to receive an update from us in December, and we will schedule FAFSA assistance appointments in January.


Original Post

The Department of Education announced this spring that the release of this year’s Free Application for Federal Student aid—better known as the FAFSA—has been delayed. This will impact the high school Class of 2024 and current college students. While this announcement might confuse many who are applying to college for the first time, we want to let families know not to worry. Class 101 has the answers to their biggest questions.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is a centralized form that has been around for decades designed to help students easily seek financial aid from the state and federal government. It provides a consistent process to assess eligibility.

The FAFSA is required at all colleges and universities to be considered for any need-based financial aid such as grants, work-study, and student loans. We recommend that families file the FAFSA even if they don’t think they have much chance of qualifying for need based aid. Institutions often require or request the FAFSA for merit awards, and scholarship programs often request it as well. The FAFSA for the 2024-2025 school year will use 2022 tax year information.

Why is the FAFSA delayed?

In 2020, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to reduce the FAFSA’s length and complexity. The law expanded the number of students who could qualify for the maximum award each year by 1.7 million and made 555,000 students newly available for aid. It also required the Department of Education to streamline and reduce the number of aid application questions. 

As the Department of Education noted in its announcement to higher education professionals released on March 21, implementing this law required “the most ambitious and significant redesign of the federal student aid application and delivery in decades.” Rather than rush the process, officials decided to take a “one-time schedule shift” to update their tools, conduct outreach, expand language offerings, address feedback, and simplify the form’s questions. 

When will the new FAFSA be released?

In the past, FAFSA was released October 1; however, the Department of Education announced this month that the 2024-2025 FAFSA would be released in December 2023. It is not clear what day in December the new form will be released, but the Department of Education promised to release the FAFSA as soon as possible and provide updates if there were any further changes in timing.

Families interested in knowing more about the schedule can look at a roadmap provided by the Department of Education. The document outlines a more granular schedule on how the Department will go about assembling the different components of the updated FAFSA.

How does this affect me?

Eight national organizations representing college counselors, state administrators, admissions officials, financial aid administrators, registrars, scholarship providers, and others expressed support for a revamped FAFSA but expressed concern that “a delayed release date could compound that confusion and result in a decline in applicants for federal student aid.” The delayed launch of the FAFSA is likely to affect college application timelines, many of which include required or requested dates to submit the federal form for merit and need based support. 

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