The DoE Made the Financial Aid System Unavailable Upon Implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act

financial aid calculationThe FAFSA Simplification Act was meant to streamline the processes of applying for federal student aid starting with the school year 2024-2025; but the government’s financial aid awarding system had instead fallen into disarray.

The main purpose of the FAFSA Simplification Act was to remove unnecessary sections of the FAFSA form in order to give more students increased opportunities of receiving federal financial aid.

However, the implementation of the streamlining process had instead made the FAFSA system inaccessible to children of parents who do not have Social Security numbers. As a result FAFSA completion rates for the 2024-2025 school year had dropped to around 30%-34% because many students could not log in to their FAFSA account so they could complete the online form.

Nevertheless, a representative of the Department of Education (DoE) reset the passwords, which allowed the affected students to log in. Although many students were able to complete their FAFSA forms, there is still uncertainty over how much and they will receive their financial aid.

Subsequently in March 2024, the DoE announced that in their review and analysis of the policies and procedures, they discovered that the DoE committed serious miscalculations related to the formula of the FAFSA aid. The erroneous calculation had resulted in providing colleges and universities incorrect financial need information for several hundred thousands of students.

scholarship applicationInitially, the DoE reported that the miscalculation had affected about 200,000 completed FAFSA forms. Yet by the middle of April 2024, the DoE admitted that the error had botched around one million completed FAFSA forms.

Colleges and Universities Unable to Make Financial Aid Offers to Students

In the meantime as the DoE scrambled to reprocess the incorrect forms that prevented students from accessing their online FAFSA account, they are also in a hurry to correct the calculation errors that provided inaccurate financial need information to colleges and universities.

Meanwhile, and up to the present, colleges and universities are still waiting for the correct financial need information that will enable them to send offers of financial aid packages; especially to low income students and to those who need to enrol in summer classes. While the FAFSA financial aid system is still in a limbo, colleges and universities are trying to convince students to continue pursuing their education; even if students are still in the dark on how much they could receive as financial aid.