FAFSA award delays affecting Valley high school seniors

FAFSA award delays affecting Valley high school seniors
5 months 4 days 2 hours ago Monday, February 12 2024 Feb 12, 2024 February 12, 2024 12:36 PM February 12, 2024 in News - Local

The Free Application of Federal Student Aid launched a new application two months later than usual, causing students to wait longer to receive financial aid.

In Donna High School's Financial Aid Center, seniors getting ready for college.

Damian Martinez and Avery Rodriguez were among the first in the office when the new FAFSA opened this year. 

"I messed up on my application, so I am waiting on my email to fix it," Rodriguez said.

Mistake or not, this year all students are waiting on their application status. 

The U.S. Department of Education is delaying releasing student data from FAFSA. In a statement, the department says colleges and universities will get the information in mid-March.

Rodriguez and Martinez say they feel helpless. Until they know how much financial aid money they're getting, they can't decide which college to go to. 

"I decided to shorten that list because you always have to plan for the worst," Martinez said. "I'm kinda just planning just in case I don't get the financial aid package I was wishing for."

This year, the Department of Education changed the application to make it shorter and easier, but it added delays.

In previous years, students could start to fill out their FAFSA on October 1. This year, students had to wait until December 31.

Financial aid advisors say during this wait, the best thing students can do is stay updated on FAFSA's website.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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