US Department of Education: Over 3 Million FAFSA Forms Successfully Submitted

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Feb 05, 2024

department of education

More than 3.1 million Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, which students must fill out to apply for federal student aid, have been submitted since the updated application became available on December 30, 2023, the US Department of Education said.

According to a press release issued by the department on January 30, 2024, the new figures come a few weeks after it released data that more than one million FAFSA forms were submitted and that the application forms became accessible 24/7, reports.

“Updating our calculations will help students qualify for as much financial aid as possible. Thank you to the financial aid advisers, college counselors, and many others helping us put students first,” Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal stressed.

However, colleges will not receive students’ financial aid information collected from the FAFSA forms until the first half of March 2024, more than one month later than initially expected. Meanwhile, usually, the deadline for college applicants to make a decision on their enrollment is May 1.

Commenting on the new numbers, Federal Student Aid Chief Richard Cordray reassured that commitment to ensure stable and safe access to over $114 billion in federal financial aid for students, will continue.

“We remain committed to ensuring students and families have stable and secure access to more than $114 billion in federal financial aid. We know how crucial this support is to pursue higher education, particularly for the most underserved communities, and the positive ripple effects an education beyond high school makes in the lives of millions, their communities, and the country,” Cordray said.

FAFSA forms for the 2024/25 academic year, launched as a simpler and redesigned form, aim to ensure 610,000 more students with low income annually receive Federal Pell Grants, the department said.

This will result in more financial aid for Pell recipients, with nearly 1.5 million more students receiving the maximum Pell Grant. These types of grants, which do not need to be repaid, are given to undergraduate students in financial need.

Statista, the data platform, shows that the number of Federal Pell Gant recipients has increased from 2.7 million in the 1989/81 academic year to six million in the 2022/23 academic year.

Usually, the FAFSA form for the new academic year comes out in October, but this time, it was released in late December as the department needed more time to provide a simpler application process.

After it went live, the form was active only at specific times during the first days, which process, according to applicants, caused confusion. Nonetheless, applicants found the forms themselves to be easier to complete.

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