The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) attempted to make its form simpler this year but instead has complicated the college decision process for students waiting to receive their aid package. 

The suggested FAFSA submission date was in early February and since then there have been countless delays with students receiving information and financial aid. Originally, the completed form was to be sent to colleges in mid-March but now has been changed to mid-April with no clear indicator of when it will be finalized. 

This comes at a time when students have deadlines to commit to universities and begin their enrollment process for this coming fall. However, it is difficult for students to make their final decision without being able to factor in the cost it will take for them to attend the university. 

FAFSA registration usually would begin on Oct. 1; however, it did not open up until Dec. 30 2023. The deadline now to complete the form is June 30. This comes after the traditional May 1 “college decision day.” 

Once schools begin receiving the FAFSA, they must process them and build aid packages for their admitted students. This is a crucial step for them to attract students and gauge what their incoming freshman population will be.