Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Ongoing FAFSA issues cause a decrease in applications

Ongoing+FAFSA+issues+cause+a+decrease+in+applications
Dustin Vickers

Due to ongoing issues with the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the percentage of students completing the form has decreased, and the Department of Education is recommending that colleges take action to revise the current errors.

The FAFSA form was soft-launched three months after its original scheduled release date, Oct. 1, 2023. The form featured numerous glitches, making it difficult for students to fill out. According to an email from UTSA, some of these glitches, such as students being unable to fill out the application if their parent or guardian does not have a Social Security number, have been revised. 

However, on March 22, the Department of Education acknowledged that a calculation error on their part led to inaccurate aid estimates on hundreds of thousands of Institutional Student Information Records (ISIR) processed in the previous months. 

According to an announcement from the Department of Education, the FAFSA processing system did not include all of the data fields needed to correctly calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI) for dependent students who reported assets. This issue “resulted in inaccurate ISIRs for dependent students with assets delivered to [institutions] prior to March 21, 2024.”

In an update from the department, it was revealed that out of 1.5 million FAFSA applications processed, they have “delivered over 1.3 million ISIRs to schools that are NOT affected by this issue, and schools can process those records as planned.” This means that approximately 200,000 applications were affected by this miscalculation, leaving these students with lower aid estimates. 

Although they have now revised this issue, the department recommends that colleges manually recalculate the estimates of the affected students. 

For a dependent student with assets, the ISIRs delivered prior to March 21, 2024, will be reprocessed by the Department. As an interim fix, schools and states can recalculate the SAI to develop a tentative aid package for an affected student without waiting to receive a reprocessed ISIR.”

According to a press release from the Department of Education, “more than 4.7 million forms have been successfully submitted.” This is a 38% drop in families filling out the application.

A Forbes article explains that “unfortunately, families are the ones who will be missing out if they don’t get the FAFSA in on time — or at all.” High school seniors who fill out the form are 84% more likely to enroll in college directly after. Filling out the FAFSA also allows students to be eligible for federal student loans, such as Pell Grants. 

The federal deadline to submit the 2024-25 FAFSA will be June 30, 2025. Be sure to call the FAFSA Hotline at (800) 433-3243 or use the “live help” button on the website if you need assistance filling out the form. 

To stay updated with changes being made to the FAFSA, visit paisano-online.com.

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About the Contributors
Lauren Hernandez, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Lauren (she/her) is a second year English student at UTSA. After graduation she plans on attending law school. Outside of The Paisano you can usually find her at a concert taking pictures, hiking in the woods, watching movies or thrifting with her sister.
Dustin Vickers, Photo Editor
Dustin (He/Him) is a third-year medical humanities major with a concentration in health careers. After graduation, he plans on attending medical school in hopes of becoming an emergency radiologist. When he’s out of the classroom, he is helping run the swim club with his co-president, blasting some sick beats, or looking for a good spot to grub.

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