Typically, financial aid award notifications are sent out at about the same time as admission notifications, so students have to wait until May 1st, the National University Decision Day (which many schools set for admitted students to decide on a university). You can compare offers over several weeks in advance of the current deadline. .
For most students and their families, the college choice will depend on the amount of financial aid offered and the breakdown of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and student loans.
This year, schools are currently awaiting their FAFSA information to begin building financial aid packages, giving students and families ample time to consider their options.
It’s really confusing.
higher education experts
“It’s really confusing,” said higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz. “Due to delays in sending FAFSA data to colleges, financial aid offers to colleges will be delayed until at least April and possibly May.”
Some universities choose to ensure that all admitted students receive their financial aid packages on time, even if it means sending out award letters before the university receives FAFSA information. , have already sent emails to applicants.
“Offering admission without offering full financial aid doesn’t really help most families,” said Adam Miller, vice president for admissions and financial aid at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. .
To do this, Whitman College and other universities must take advantage of the family of information provided in the completed CSS profile. Currently, approximately 400 schools use the CSS profile in addition to his FAFSA to offer non-federal institutional aid.
Although FAFSA information will ultimately determine whether a student’s financial aid offer includes federal or state aid rather than scholarships, the expected family out-of-pocket amount will not change. Mr. Miller said.
“We really believe in our financial aid offers, and once we complete the FAFSA, we are in a position to support those offers, regardless of what form federal or state funding comes in. I’m lucky to have it.”
At this time, families should continue to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA form, Sallie Mae spokesperson Rick Castellano advised. And in the meantime, alternative sources for merit-based aid should be utilized, he added.
Contact your college or ask your high school counselor about opportunities. You can also search websites like Scholarships.com and College Board.
“The frustration is completely understandable and frankly justified,” Castellano said. “But the last thing you want to do is avoid college completely.”
There is also a good chance that universities will extend decision deadlines to give students and families more time to evaluate financial aid packages.
“Given that schools won’t begin receiving processed FAFSA data until sometime in March, I wouldn’t be surprised if the universal response date is extended beyond June 1,” said George W., financial aid consultant and author of The Princeton Review. said author Kalman Chaney. I’m paying for university tuition. ”
Several national organizations, including the American Association of Community Colleges and the American Association of State Universities, also issued statements encouraging schools to be more flexible when students and families consider offers of admission and financial aid.
“During the pandemic, many institutions have extended admission, scholarship, and financial aid deadlines beyond the traditional May 1st date. We urge institutions to do the same this year.” The organizations said in a joint statement. “We all want to ensure that students and their families have the time they need to consider their financial options before making an enrollment decision.”
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