The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

FAFSA Delay Complicates Student’s Financial Aid Process

The Federal Student Aid application commonly known as FAFSA is a crucial step for students planning on a going to college and a graduation requirement for Texas seniors. However, access to the application has been delayed by inflation adjustments and technical issues.
Two+students+filling+out+the+FASFA+application+during+an+advisory+presentation+by+Ms.+Cannon+in+room+155.
Penelope Maddox
Two students filling out the FASFA application during an advisory presentation by Ms. Cannon in room 155.

With the recent FAFSA rollout in December, many are left wondering what could have taken so long and when they should apply. Usually, the FAFSA comes out in October, and students are advised to fill it out as soon as possible to receive financial aid. This year, however, the repeated delays and bug-ridden “soft release” have left students wondering how and when they need to apply.

For those unaware, the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form that students must fill out in order to receive financial aid from the government for college. Here at Paschal, it is a graduation requirement. The problem, as previously mentioned, is that there have been continuous delays in getting the FAFSA form available to students. 

The form has undergone a major revamp that is designed to simplify the application process. According to reporting from  National Public Radio, FAFSA was finally released on December 30, 2023. However, since its release, the website has been plagued by issues. First of all, the website has not been accessible 24/7, and a schedule has not been posted for when it is available. Second of all, and most importantly, the updated form has not been adjusted for inflation, meaning that students may not receive as much financial aid as they should.

NPR said that the U.S. Department of Education initially planned to wait until the following year to resolve the inflation issue and leave it up to colleges to offer extra aid to make up for the loss. The problem with that is that colleges are under no obligation to provide additional aid, so students would simply have to pay more out-of-pocket for college. The Department of Education may now be leaning toward fixing the issue for this year. The drawback is that this will further delay the process of receiving financial aid offers from colleges.

At the Go Center, Ms. Hannah Cannon explained that “the soft launch included everybody,” despite a “soft launch” implying a launch to a small number of people. Instead, Ms. Cannon said, “they opened it up to the whole nation.” She added that students need to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible, and it needs to be before the Texas priority deadline of March 15. Unfortunately, there are still issues with the form crashing, and according to Ms. Cannon, “students without social security numbers can’t fill it out yet.”

Fortunately for students concerned with completing the FAFSA, they can visit the Go Center for help, email Ms. Hannah, Mr. Patterson, or Ms. Cece, or go to one of the Financial Aid Nights at the Go Center. The next few dates for Financial Aid Nights are January 18, January 25, February 8, and February 29. However, all of the upcoming dates can be found on the Go Center’s Instagram @PaschalGoCenter.

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About the Contributors
Ram Verma, Reporter
Ram Verma (12) is a a reporter for the Paschal Pantherette. This is his first year with the Pantherette, and he is looking forward to learning the process behind news writing. He enjoys writing, and looks forward to putting that to good use in the coming school year. In his free time, he enjoys reading, being outdoors, and hanging out with friends or family.
Penelope Maddox, Editor
Penelope Maddox (12) is a co-editor for the online and printed Paschal Pantherette. This is her second year on staff and she is eager to focus on the behind-the-scenes aspect of running an online paper. She is an avid reader who loves chai lattes, overalls, and linguistics.
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