San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

FAFSA lead the intent to enroll deadline to be extended after delays

Students advised to be patient when filling out the new FAFSA application
Emily Augustine
Graphic by Emily Augustine.

The California State University and the University of California have agreed to extend their intent to enroll deadlines to May 15 for incoming students due to complications with changes being made to the FAFSA Simplification Act.

When the formula changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were first released by the Department of Education, it did not include an inflation adjustment to the income and asset protection allowances. 

After this was realized by the department, the decision to make the extension was made so that an accurate student aid index could be calculated.

All currently submitted FAFSA applications for 2024-2025 are still considered valid, but more time is needed to reprocess the forms for better accuracy. 

There are also other issues being resolved with the new changes made to the application process- one of which is the application process for students who do not have a social security number. 

“That is a larger than expected population of students than the Department of Education thought,” said Chip Pierce, director of San Diego State University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. “So those students are sidelined right now. The department has indicated that they will fix that by early to mid-March. It’s already March so hopefully within the next several weeks there’s some movement on that.”

Despite these issues, Pierce recommends students to complete the application by April 2 so that they can be considered for aid possible now that the application is accessible.

“With all this uncertainty, we don’t want to send a message that students should not fill out the application,” said Rosanne Pasenelli, associate vice president of Student Financial Resources. “Even though all these things are going on behind the scenes, we don’t want students to say ‘Well, I’m not going to apply because my application might be wrong.’ Nationally, the FAFSA numbers are down considerably and we’re flying blind here. We don’t know who of our students have applied because the department hasn’t really sent information to us.”

Currently, 6.3 million FAFSA applications have been submitted to the Department of Education, a decrease from the average of 17 million applications that are submitted at the end of a FAFSA cycle.

Students who complete the form will be able to see that it’s completed but won’t be able to view their Student Aid Report until the Department of Education begins releasing processed applications.

“I actually helped my son fill one out this weekend and it was a good kind of exercise,” Pierce said. “And it is —when it works — (is) much simpler. The whole thing took literally 10 minutes, 15 minutes. You just basically consent, it pulls it in, you answer a couple (of) questions and you’re done. And I found the contributor process was relatively straightforward.”

To help ease the changes, the application provides videos explaining what to do and defines terms like “contributor.” Pierce’s advice is to be patient and to allow the time needed to learn the new system.

Incoming students who complete the FAFSA form can expect award notices by April 13 according to Pasenelli, while ongoing students can likely expect the same by May.

“For our continuing students, it’s not going to be any different than it was last year,” Pasenelli said. “It’s our new students coming in that are seeing a little bit of a delay because of things that are beyond our control.”

Those who need help filling out the form can contact the Cal Coast Student Financial Center, who also have online webinar recordings to help with the process. Assistance can be found with the Department of Education as well.

“So hopefully once folks login they’re going to be delightfully surprised that it’s not as bad as it seems,” Pierce said.

About the Contributor
Emily Augustine, '23-24 Graphics Editor