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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

FAFSA release delayed further

Neil Godse
CREATING CONFUSION: Delays in the FASFA form application leave students confused about the application process.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid was further delayed by the U.S. Department of Education on Jan. 30, likely deferring offers of financial aid to students weeks later than originally anticipated.

The delay was caused by an error that left out the impact of inflation on FAFSA’s calculation for student aid, which potentially could have cost students around $1.8 billion in student aid. Many institutions, such as the UC system and the University of Illinois-Chicago, are saying that students are unlikely to receive financial aid offers before April at the earliest, leaving little time before early May, when students are expected to commit to a college.

“It is a huge disruption for sure, and definitely frustrating for all those involved—students, counselors and families alike,” college and career specialist Kathi Smith said.

It is a huge disruption for sure, and definitely frustrating for all those involved—students, counselors and families alike

— college and career specialist Kathi Smith

The Class of 2024 has already experienced disruption throughout the FAFSA process because of an overhaul by the Department of Education earlier this year. This was prompted by the FAFSA Simplification Act of 2020 which aimed to simplify the application process and provide more aid to low-income students.

The recent delay has left students unsure as to how to navigate the already complicated college application and financial aid process.

“I understand why FAFSA was being reformed and changed,” senior Irem Gursoy said. “But it’s really frustrating that these delays keep occurring, and the website is an entirely different story altogether.”

In response to these delays and outstanding issues, colleges are extending deadlines for students to accept admission offers in an effort to ensure all students who qualify receive a financial aid offer and evaluate it, according to the New York Times. For example, the UC and CSU systems are extending their Statement of Intent to Register deadlines to May 15. Other colleges, such as the University of Virginia, have similarly extended their deadlines to either May 15 or June 1. 

“I appreciate that colleges are being accommodating with this situation,” senior Daniella Pierce said. “It definitely allows for more flexibility with college decisions, but I just wish this didn’t happen in the first place.”

In spite of these challenges, counselors remain optimistic that students will be able to complete their college applications successfully.

“Everyone in the nation is in the same boat,” Smith said. “I have full confidence that everyone will be able to navigate this situation.”

Students with further questions or concerns are encouraged to visit the College and Career Center for assistance.

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About the Contributors
Anthony Park
Anthony Park, Staff Writer
Anthony Park, the perpetual insomniac somehow writing for the Northwood Howler, often wonders if his undying loyalty to Starbucks brews is a personality trait or an unhealthy caffeine dependency. Fueled by both coffee and unprompted left-wing commentary, he oscillates between fervent typing and deep existential crises — with occasional breaks for his skincare regimen (because shining skin is just the right counterbalance when peering into life’s abyss). While we won’t claim his writings are birthed from sheer delirium, that ethereal touch does lend them an unexpected charm.
Neil Godse
Neil Godse, Photographer
Neil Godse is a Photographer and Junior at Northwood. He used to love aviation, traveling, and youtube - until junior year happened. Now you can see him doing Physics homework, and in his 13 seconds of break time, he is mindlessly scrolling through reels until the time is just right to start work again (12:00 AM sharp). If it wasn’t obvious already, he loves taking photos, and can be seen stalking people around the school (only for Howler of course).

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