JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois
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Illinois Student Assistance Commission Statement on Impact of On-Going Delays in FAFSA Data Processing

February 1, 2024

As the state’s college access and financial aid agency, ISAC is here to support students and families, and our school partners, in dealing with the challenges presented by technical issues and on-going delays related to the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Education that FAFSA data will not be available to schools, state agencies, and other appropriate parties until at least the beginning of March adds to the already significant concerns of students and families in accessing financial aid for college for the 2024-25 academic year. Our colleges and universities face increasing challenges in how to address financial aid packaging, enrollment management and budgeting decisions that are impacted by these delays.

While it is important for Federal Student Aid to correct its formula to ensure that students are offered all the aid for which they are eligible, this latest announced delay is creating issues for students who are looking for their financial aid offers so they can make informed decisions about where they will attend school. It also puts significant pressure on institutions to prepare financial aid offers and adjust their systems in an extremely shortened timeframe. Delays do have ripple effects, impacting state and institutional systems and most importantly, students and families who rely on access to financial aid to attend college. We encourage students and families to keep in close contact with their prospective colleges and/or universities so they are up to date on any changes caused by this delay.

For our part, ISAC continues to support students and families with free assistance in completing their FAFSAs—especially those families that are experiencing challenges in completing the new application because of technical issues or who, at least until adjustments to the form are made, will have to submit a paper FAFSA. We offer free workshops and one-on-one assistance statewide. https://studentportal.isac.org/isacorps. We are also here to support our school partners by collaborating to communicate FAFSA-related issues to the Department, and helping schools support their students.