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Education Department starts sending financial aid data to colleges after months of delays

Education Department starts sending financial aid data to colleges after months of delays

AP News

Annie Ma and Collin Binkley
March 12, 2024
WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of delays and technical hiccups, some colleges and universities have started to receive federal data they need to put together financial aid offers for incoming students, the Biden administration said Monday.
The Education Department says it sent a first batch of student records to a few dozen universities on Sunday and is making final updates before expanding to more universities.
The delay has cut into the time schools usually have to assemble financial aid packages before the typical May 1 deadline for students to commit to a university. Many colleges have extended enrollment deadlines as they wait on the federal government, leaving families across the nation wondering how much financial help they will get with college tuition.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid overhaul delayed the form’s usual rollout from October to late December. The department then soft-launched the new version to address lingering bugs in the system, but many families reported difficulties accessing the form.
Congress ordered the update in 2020 to simplify the notoriously complex form and expand federal student aid to more low-income students. The new application reduces the number of questions from 108 to fewer than 50, and it uses a new and more generous formula to determine eligibility for federal student aid.
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