Steps to take while waiting on 2024-25 college award letters

Deciding to attend college comes with anticipation, excitement, and unfortunately, stress — especially when it comes to paying for your higher education. For this year’s college-bound students and their families, that stress may be even greater due to a series of challenges and delays involving the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the gateway to financial aid in the form of federal student loans, grants, work study, and some scholarships.

Typically the FAFSA opens on October 1 for the next academic year, with financial aid award letters from colleges following in March or April. Those award letters outline the financial aid students are eligible for and are critical in helping families determine which school students will ultimately attend.

Unfortunately, this year’s FAFSA has been full of problems, from a late start in December 2023 to a series of errors that have meant even more delays in processing financial aid. Colleges have not been able to access accurate Institutional Student Information Reports (ISIR), meaning students and families have found themselves in limbo as they wait for their award letters. If you’re an incoming or returning college student waiting for financial aid information, here are a few steps to consider.


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