After months of delays, colleges are finally starting to receive financial aid data from the Department of Education

The Biden administration said Monday that after months of delays and technical issues, some colleges and universities have begun receiving the federal data they need to provide financial aid to incoming students.

Ministry of Education said it had sent the first batch of student records to dozens of colleges on Sunday and was working on final updates before expanding to more colleges.

The delay shortens the time schools typically have to develop a financial aid package before May 1, the typical deadline for students to enroll in college. Many colleges have extended admissions deadlines while they wait for the federal government, leaving families across the country wondering how much financial help they can get for college tuition.

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An overhaul of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid delays the form’s normal release from October to the end of December. The department then soft-launched the new version to address long-standing bugs in the system, but many families reported difficulties accessing the form.

Congress ordered updates in 2020 to simplify the notoriously complex form and expand federal student aid to more low-income students. The new application reduces the number of questions from 108 to less than 50 and uses a new, more generous formula to determine eligibility for federal student aid.

These delays have ripple effects throughout higher education. FAFSA information is used to award state and federal education grants, and schools use it to develop financial aid packages for prospective students. At the same time, families often have only a vague idea of ​​how much they need to pay, which can impact their lives. Be a disruptor when choosing a college.

Advocates worry that such barriers will prevent some students from pursuing higher education, especially those who are already on the fence.

Repeated delays have become a blemish for the Biden administration, which has accused Congress of rejecting requests for more funding to overhaul information systems and update a decades-old application process.

Congressional Republicans say the Government Accountability Office has launched an investigation into the administration’s handling of the reforms.

Approximately 17 million students attend each year Submit FAFSA As part of your financial aid application. So far, 5.5 million students have been able to fill out the new FAFSA form, according to the department.

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The department updated its formula to account for inflation, which will increase the amount of aid students are eligible to receive. But the initial version does not include the updated inflation tool.

In a letter to the department in February, more than 100 Democratic lawmakers urged answers on how the department planned to minimize the impact of delays on families.

“Any delays in financial aid processing will have the greatest impact on students who need it most, including many students of color, students from mixed-status families, students from rural backgrounds, students who are homeless or in foster care, First-generation students and students from other countries. Underserved communities,” they wrote. “For institutions that support students’ ability to make informed decisions about their future, they need clear guidance and resources from the Department of Education immediately on any next steps.”

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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