FAFSA updates

By Alyssa Burgei, BurgeiA1@Findlay.edu

With the new changes to the FAFSA, both universities and students are experiencing the repercussions from the adjustments. For example, financial aid is going to change for farmers and students with siblings in college. 

The Education Department, who is responsible for launching the new FAFSA changes, sent out three Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) tests last September to prepare colleges for the new forms; but most financial aid offices wanted the ISIRs earlier, in the fall, so they could prepare sooner. Some reports have shown, however, that student FAFSA information may not reach colleges until March, which puts more stress on financial aid offices trying to solve all the problems and help students fill out their forms to get their aid. 

Between the massive delays and push-backs, as well as the complaints and objections, financial aid offices are facing more challenges to get aid out to their students. UF Financial Aid Counselor Lindsey Wischmeyer discussed the takeaways and effects from the changes. 

What is the largest setback with the FAFSA this year?

“I think that with the date getting pushed back all the way from Dec. 31, it’s pushing everything back with it,” Wischmeyer said. “We are unable to see the 2024-2025 [paperwork] until March. It pushed back payments for incoming and current students.”

Will the new adjustment have an effect on how fast students get financial aid?

“They still should receive aid before the semester starts, but they might not know just how much they are expected to yet,” Wischmeyer said.

Has the new FAFSA caused any problems to arise in the Financial Aid Department?

“Just timing is an issue, pushing everything back,” Wischmeyer said. “There aren’t too many big problems, but the date got pushed back to Dec. 31.”

What change will have the biggest impact?

“The biggest is going to be allowing more students to receive Pell [Grants] that might need it,” Wischmeyer said. “It’s going to reach 15 percent more students than previous years.”

Several reports claim Financial Aid Eligibility increased due to reforms. Is this true?

“Yes and no,” Wischmeyer said. “Some people that would have gotten Pell thanks to college siblings won’t get it anymore, as well as farmers can’t claim it for farm grants. But low income families can get Pell Grants now.”