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The Lobby Observer

The Student News Site of Westborough High School

The Lobby Observer

The Student News Site of Westborough High School

The Lobby Observer

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FAFSA Delays Continue to Cause Issues

FAFSA+Delays+Continue+to+Cause+Issues

The college application process for the 2024-2025 year has been finished for some time now, but many seniors have not been able to solidify where they are attending due to the constant delays of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is essential in giving possible aid, scholarships, and grants for students who need to help pay for how costly college is. 

The delays began back in the fall when the FAFSA was unavailable in October, as it normally is. Instead, its access was pushed to late December. Despite this, there were still numerous glitches and complications with filling it out and it stayed open until January of this year. 

Students receive aid from the federal government through the FAFSA, but also from their colleges. The continuous setbacks from the FAFSA are now affecting colleges and universities themselves, as they are unable to provide students with complete financial aid packages until the second half of March. This is going to create significant issues for students and families, as they might make decisions without knowing how much a college costs.  There are worries about colleges not being able to process families’ financial data in time for the May 1 deadline, especially for those who are dependent on financial aid for their college educations. If students commit to a school they cannot afford, they will be knee-deep in student loans, working to pay them off for years. 

As a high school senior, I feel that this conflict has introduced new stress into an already big decision of picking a college. A college education is extremely expensive and the FAFSA is very useful in decreasing the burden; however, what seems like everlasting delays is creating new struggles to decide. Higher education institutions such as the American Association of State Colleges and Universities stated “During the pandemic, many institutions extended their enrollment, scholarship, and financial aid deadlines beyond the traditional May 1 date, and we urge institutions to make similar accommodations this year.” Only a small fraction of schools within the country have extended the enrollment deadline, but perhaps others will follow. 

Everything will work itself out in these next two months: it’s just that it is a critical time for seniors planning on attending college after graduation and the FAFSA delays are causing new stressors and burdens. For students who are awaiting this vital financial information from the government and colleges, take the time to reflect on your options of what is affordable or not. 

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertfarrington/2024/03/06/fafsa-delays-are-creating-a-major-problem-fewer-completions/?sh=7953c4943aeb

https://www.highereddive.com/news/which-colleges-are-extending-their-decision-deadlines/709082/#:~:text=A%20majority%20of%20NACAC’s%20member,the%20more%20traditional%20May%201.

 

 

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About the Contributor
Sophie Boyd '24, Managing Co-Editor
Sophie Boyd is a senior at WHS and a Managing Co-Editor, who has been writing for the Lobby-O for the past three years. She enjoys the creativity and freedom that comes with journalism and loves writing opinion pieces and producing broadcasts. Outside of school, Sophie enjoys playing soccer, running track, going to the beach, and playing with her two jack russells, Bibi and Jasper. 

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