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FAFSA app delays spark frustration among students, parents

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  • Staff Report 

The introduction of a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) system is causing delays and frustration for prospective college students and their parents. The revamped FAFSA, intended to simplify the financial aid application process, has instead led to confusion and stress, particularly for those navigating college admissions decisions. Virginia Kukaj-Hartman, echoing the sentiment of many, expressed reluctance to commit to college costs without clear information on financial aid.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The delays are causing significant concerns about the accessibility of financial aid, with Meaghan Drumm from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) noting the challenges families face in accessing and modifying their FAFSA applications. In response, RIT has developed an online tool, unique among local institutions, to assist students during this uncertain period. Over 1,400 early-decision students have already utilized this resource, with regular-decision applicants now also benefiting from the innovative solution.

As the FAFSA complications persist, the State University of New York (SUNY) system has stepped up to offer additional support through in-person and virtual financial aid sessions. This initiative aims to help SUNY applicants and current students navigate the delayed federal aid process, which is not expected to provide colleges with necessary financial information until March.