(VitalNews.org) – The United States Department of Education announced on Monday that they will be introducing a “FAFSA College Support Strategy”, but it’s facing criticism as many think it’s too late.
This support strategy will help with funding, additional personnel, and overall support for processing the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms. Ultimately, this was pushed back heavily due to multiple complications, but the Department of Education is pushing forward. The U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “We are determined to get this right. We must, and we will.”
With this being said, there has been some pushback from financial aid administrators who are saying this program is “too little, too late.” The strategy itself will help with supporting federal experts in high-need institutions to ensure that they have the tools they need to process data. It will also offer a service that will help with answering questions from colleges about the new form that’s being put in place.
Financial aid has previously been a huge benefit to many students and parents. In fact, many students choose a college based on the amount of financial aid, scholarships, and grants that the student is eligible to get.
It is said that only 3.6 million students applied to FAFSA this year whereas in previous years, the amount of students has reached around the 17 million mark, on average.
“While 3.6 million FAFSAs have been submitted, that is half the number that were submitted and processed by the same time last year,” higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz said regarding the situation.
The delay has made the decision for many parents of students difficult as they are waiting for the FAFSA to begin processing so they can view their grant amounts and move on with a decision from there. There are still problems that remain with completing and signing the form.
“The No. 1 thing the U.S. Department of Education can do is to fix the bugs so that contributors can get FSA IDs. Families cannot file the FAFSA if a contributor can’t get an FSA ID to sign the form electronically,” Kantrowitz said. ]
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