Iowa’s non-profit colleges and universities share the frustration of students and parents because of the U.S. Department of Education’s failed implementation of the revised FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and process. More than a dozen college presidents representing the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU) traveled to Washington, DC in early February to alert Iowa’s Congressional delegation to the serious implications of the delays in student aid calculations because of the FAFSA problems.
The FAFSA form is required by the U.S. Department of Education for any college student seeking federal financial aid. The calculations in the form determine the type and amount of financial aid for which the student might be eligible. The calculations are also used by state agencies and by colleges and universities to determine what non-federal aid might be available to the student. The U.S. Department of Education has indicated FAFSA results will not be available before mid-March at the earliest, which is months later than normal.
“Our concern is for students and parents who are having to deal with this uncertainty and anxiety,” said Gary Steinke, President of the IAICU. “The colleges and universities didn’t cause this problem and certainly students and parents didn’t cause this problem. But I can assure them that the financial aid offices at our colleges and universities are ready to act immediately to put together financial aid packages for students as soon as the federal data is available,” he said.
Steinke also indicated that students and parents should be aware this is a nationwide problem and that Iowa students are not being put at a disadvantage compared to other states. He urged students and parents to stay in touch with the financial aid offices at the colleges and universities they’re attending or plan to attend for the latest information. Links to financial aid offices are on this page: https://iowatuitiongrant.org/why-private-college/
“We realize this problem is going to delay the process for making the important financial decisions about attending college for many families. And we know it’s not easy to be patient, but our colleges and universities are on alert and will communicate to students and parents at the very earliest possible time,” said Steinke.
(Contact Gary Steinke: 515-282-3175, or firstname.lastname@example.org)