Hi Seniors and Families,
Unfortunately there are more delays and glitches in the FAFSA system.  I received the update below earlier today.  If you need to make changes to your FAFSA you are still unable to do so. There is also a huge delay in the colleges and scholarship programs receiving information about your FAFSA.  Please see below.  I will update you as I get more info.  The MHS Scholarship program will be accepting updated FAFSA info from you until April 3rd.
The US Department of Education (ED) announced today that colleges and universities will receive Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicant data beginning in the , 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.
ED sends the data from completed FAFSAs to the colleges designated by applicants as Institutional Student Information Reports (ISIRs). Depending on the size of ISIR batches, it could take days or possibly weeks to complete the transfers. Then colleges typically need a couple of weeks to load the data, test their systems, and model award amounts. As a result, the earliest aid offers to students would likely arrive in early to mid-April - about four months later than usual.
This latest timing shift would leave college access advisors and high school counselors with as little as two weeks to support their entire caseload of students to evaluate financial aid offers in advance of traditional May 1 commitment deadlines from colleges. NCAN member organizations report that the FAFSA delays are taking a big toll on students and families as well as those who assist them, reducing their confidence that they will be able to assemble the aid they need. Some students may decide to forego college entirely, or they might rush into accepting an aid package they don’t understand that will leave them with unpaid balances after matriculation.
Today’s news comes while we know that the new FAFSA is not yet better for all students and families. Contributors without Social Security numbers cannot access the online form, preventing mixed status families from completing it. Many other students need to make corrections, and all of the three million-plus filers to date await receipt of their FAFSA submission summaries. NCAN is working every day to deliver feedback to ED and communicate the urgency of the situation.
-The NCAN Team
Be patient and don't give up!  SWOCC is coming next Wednesday for a help session at 6pm in the MHS Library.  If you have any questions I strongly urge you to attend that or one of their other help sessions.   They will be held on the third floor of Tioga Hall, room 301. Please see below for the times and dates:
January 31st @ 5:00 – 7:00pm
February 9th @ 4:00 – 6:00pm
February 14th @ 11:00 – 1:00pm
February 28th @ 2:00 - 4:00pm
Take care,
Jennifer Bunnell