The US Department of Education (ED) announced yesterday that colleges and universities will receive Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicant data beginning in the first half of March, up to six weeks later than the expected January 31 date, which was already delayed by the later opening of the 2024-25 FAFSA. Today’s statement said the delay was due to the need to update the federal processing system to include the recently revised data tables used in the Student Aid Index calculation. The updated tables account for inflation and will yield approximately $1.8 million in additional need-based federal aid, ED said.
“Today’s news further compresses an already strained timeframe for students to receive aid offers and make decisions about their college-going,” National College Attainment Network (NCAN) CEO Kim Cook said. “Students and counselors will need additional flexibility with the traditional May 1 commitment deadline so we stand a chance at continuing the post-pandemic college enrollment recovery under way for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.”