FAFSA applications delayed

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Colleges and universities will not receive students’ applications for federal financial aid, known as FAFSA, at least until early March.

The U.S. Education Department announced Tuesday the delay allows it to fix an error in how it calculates students’ eligibility for aid.

However, a group of GOP senators said Wednesday the department’s move will also delay offer letters.

“Many students may forgo college because they don’t know if they can afford it,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, (R-La.), who is the top Republican on the Senate Education Committee.

Cassidy argued the Biden administration has had years to get this right.

“This is a clear failing of the Department of Education,” he said.

Sen. Joni Ernst, (R-Iowa), stressed any uncertainty with the new FAFSA forms hurts first-generation college students the most.

“No more delay, Department of Education,” Ernst said. “We need to get this straightened out right now.”

The Government Accountability Office just launched an investigation into the rollout of the new FAFSA after dozens of Republicans pushed for one. 

The House’s top Democrat, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, (D-N.Y.), said Congress should help resolve any problems.

“We should take a look at the situation,” Jeffries said. 

The Education Department said the forms themselves have been easier and quicker to complete than in the past, which was the goal of lawmakers’ update to them. The department also touted more than three million students have already successfully submitted the new FAFSA forms.

If you’re having any issues with the new FAFSA, Cassidy launched this new hotline to submit questions and concerns.

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