Jan 31, 2024 - Economy

FAFSA financial aid offers could be delayed

Illustrated collage of an  African American student reading a book surrounded by various rectangles and a hundred dollar bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Students waiting to hear back on how much financial aid they'll receive before enrolling at a college may have to wait longer than usual this year.

The big picture: The delay comes after the Department of Education announced changes earlier this month to fix how it calculates federal student aid due to a math error in this year's FAFSA application.

  • The changes will allow for an additional $1.8 billion in federal student aid.

Driving the news: Schools won't start receiving students' FAFSA information until the first half of March, the Department of Education announced Tuesday.

  • The department had previously said it would start sending eligibility information to schools in late January.

Between the lines: Since colleges can't determine students' financial aid packages until they receive the data, the timeline for sending out that information to students could be impacted.

  • In turn, the delay may affect students facing what is usually a May 1 deadline to commit to a school. 

By the numbers: More than 3.1 million FAFSA forms have already been submitted since Dec. 30, per the department.

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