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What does the FAFSA data delay mean for Minnesota students and families?



St. Paul, Minn. — On Jan. 30, the U.S. Department of Education (US DOE) announced that colleges and universities will receive 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicant data beginning in the first half of March. Initially, US DOE had announced institutions and state agencies would begin to receive data by the end of January 2024. This new timeline is up to six weeks later and will cause an additional delay for college-bound students and families to receive financial aid offers, which will likely occur in early to mid-April. Read more about the additional delay in the US DOE press release.

We want to acknowledge the stress and anxiety that the current challenges are causing students and families, college access staff, as well as higher education institutions. US DOE is working to ensure that students and families receive all the financial aid they are eligible for.

The State of Minnesota is fortunate to have a filing deadline of June 30 of the school year in question, allowing for more time for students to complete the FAFSA and receive primary sources of federal and state-based aid, specifically the Federal Pell Grant and Minnesota State Grant. For the upcoming 2024-25 academic year, a student has a deadline of June 30th, 2025.

We anticipate that the Minnesota Dream Act Application will be available by mid-February 2024. The filing deadline of the Dream Act aligns with FAFSA, June 30. 

This most recent FAFSA data delay means:

  • Colleges and universities across the country will not have the information they need to calculate eligibility for need-based federal, state and university-based financial aid until after they receive this information in the first half of March.
  • Students will receive financial aid offers much later than anticipated, which compresses the timeframe that students and families can weigh options and make informed decisions with aid offer information. 
  • The traditional May 1st commitment deadline will need to be flexible. National College Decision Day traditionally lands on the first day of May each year. Students should check the website of the institutions they are interested in, as some deadlines may have shifted.
  • Students should still complete the FAFSA or Minnesota Dream Act as soon as possible. More than 3.1 million FAFSA forms have been submitted since the form opened on Dec. 30. US DOE is continuing to work to ensure students and families are able to access and complete the stable and secure form. Use these tips to successfully complete your FAFSA form.
  • There continue to be issues for populations of students who are unable to file the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Contributors without a Social Security Number cannot access or complete the FAFSA.  
  • Corrections to the FAFSA, by the student or the school, will not be able to be made until sometime after the FAFSA data has been sent out.

Need Assistance? 

The Federal Student Aid Information Center’s number is 1-800-433-3243 (1-800-4-FED AID) has extended service hours for January through April: 

  • Monday-Friday 7:00am-9:00pm CT
  • Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm CT
  • Closed Sundays and Federal Holidays 

Additionally, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Financial Aid staff can help answer questions about the application or process. The number to call is 651-642-0567. Select option 2. The line is answered Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm.

Ready, Set, FAFSA! recorded webinars, resources available

If you missed the January 2024 Ready, Set, FAFSA! webinar sessions, visit the Minnesota Goes to College website to view recorded sessions, frequently asked question documents, and more resources. Sessions include: Create Your FSA ID, Apply for Financial Aid: FAFSA OR Minnesota Dream Act, and Understand Your Offer Letter. Additionally, a webinar is available about earning college credit in high school, intended for 8th-11th grade students and their parents/guardians

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