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Navigating FAFSA Delays and College Commitment Deadlines

Sarah K. Cook

As students eagerly await their financial aid packages, the looming May 1st deadline for college commitments adds an extra layer of stress.

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, at least 190 U.S. colleges have postponed their commitment deadlines for the 2024-2025 academic year amid federal financial aid delays.

Deadline extensions have altered the traditional May 1st commitment deadline, requiring prospective students to decide by either May 15 or June 1. However, many colleges and universities are still deliberating when students will need to commit.

It is important to note that some institutions, for example, the University of Arizona and the University of Richmond, have opted not to extend their deadlines, so reading recent press releases and communication from your student’s college application list is critical.

FAFSA delays, caused by overwhelming application volumes and technical issues, have significantly impacted students' ability to receive award letters detailing the cost of attendance and, as a result, make informed decisions about their college choices. Without clarity on financial aid offers, students are left in limbo, unable to fully assess the affordability of their preferred institutions.

Postponing college commitment deadlines provides students with the necessary time to receive and evaluate their financial aid packages thoroughly. This extension acknowledges the systemic challenges students face and empowers them to make well-informed decisions about their academic futures.

By accommodating FAFSA delays, colleges demonstrate their commitment to accessibility and equity in higher education, granting students the time and resources they need to navigate the complexities of financial aid and make informed decisions that align with their academic and financial goals.

Have questions about award letters, cost of attendance, or leveraging an appeal? Contact CBCR for help.

Looking to assess if your deadlines have been altered? View the complete list of 2024 Enrollment Commitment Deadlines.

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