Money, Money, Money

As the end of the academic year comes to a close, many students and universities across the country deal with the many issues stemming from the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which has not gone as smoothly as everyone would like.
Money, Money, Money

The 2024-25 FAFSA form which was promised to have been easier has become the complete opposite. During last year’s FAFSA I didn’t like how many questions and how long it took to answer and was excited for this form to be easier and have fewer questions but as of this moment I would rather take the fifty questions over this mess.

However, the form is required to get a financial aid package and scholarships to help me with my college education. Now I can’t speak for all but as a first-generation college student but for me FAFSA was something I relied on to even go to college, even with family contributing and scholarships I had enough to get me through my first year of college. These issues have caused stress that not only affects students and their families but also the University’s financial aid offices.

Students and Families

With the delays, many students and their families have been stressed about how they will pay for tuition for the next academic year. With the way the economy is right now, many students are considering getting a job or a second one to help pay for tuition. Along with this FAFSA changed the estimated family contribution to a Student Aid Index (SAI) to help with scholarships and financial aid packages from universities. For my family, this is both helpful for my parent and unhelpful for me.

Universities and Financial Aid offices

Now switching over to universities and their financial aid office, many of them had to push back their decision days and can’t give both incoming students and returning students an estimate on how much financial aid they will receive. A major delay in the FAFSA form is receiving the accurate SAI number to help curate financial aid packers for their students. At the start of the processing delays, Hamline’s Financial Aid office reached out to students via email offering resources regarding FAFSA to help students. However, there is a silver lining in all of this. With students now receiving an email saying their form has been processed which eases some worries, this also helps those who need to make corrections. However, with the confirmation of the forms being processed, it is only a matter of time before they receive their financial aid packages for the next academic year.

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Takeaways and Advice

I know for myself that I will be part of the group of students trying to find a job so I won’t have to rely on FAFSA and scholarships like I did this year. And I know that everyone’s situation is different and I want to acknowledge that. But for now, the only thing I can give for advice right now is to breathe. And I know I said this in my last article but it applies to this case as well. Panicking right now is not going to help anyone and make the whole FAFSA and financial aid situation go any faster and smoother. So just breathe and everything will work itself out.

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