Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) News

With changes in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) taking place, Polk State College will work to keep students informed.

Below are the latest updates:

  1. + May 8, 2024: Focus on 2024-25 FAFSA completion rates

    The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced the launch of a program that would allocate up to $50 million to stakeholders working to boost 2024-25 FAFSA completion rates.

    The focus of the next phase of the “FAFSA Support Strategy,” per the department, is to “grow capacity” that would enable school districts, state agencies, nonprofits, and other educational-based organizations to expand their availability and outreach to support students and families in completing the revamped form.

    The new program comes amid concerning FAFSA completion trends. According to the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), FAFSA completions for the class of 2024 have not caught up with previous enrollment cycles and while the gap in recent weeks has been closing, completion rates are still down 24.3% compared to the previous academic year. Financial aid administrators have expressed significant concerns about how the glitches and shifting timelines associated with the 2024-25 FAFSA rollout could impact students.

    ED noted that the funds could be used to increase program availability through evenings, weekends, and the summer. Additionally, the funds could be used to facilitate the logistics associated with FAFSA submission clinics, such as transportation costs, or to support communication campaigns that help students complete their FAFSA forms.

    According to the department, Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) from more than 8.95 million applications have now been transmitted to schools, states, and scholarship organizations.

    The department also noted that it has made “significant progress” in addressing known issues with the 2024-25 FAFSA form, and reminded stakeholders that there is now a new temporary process to allow applicants and contributors without a Social Security number (SSN) to complete the form.

  2. + May 1, 2024: For those without a Social Security number

    From the U.S. Department of Education:

    Applicants and contributors without a Social Security number (SSN) can immediately access the online FAFSA form and submit the form after creating a StudentAid.gov account. The department is temporarily allowing individuals without an SSN to enter and complete the FAFSA form. Students and contributors must manually enter their tax information. Students without an SSN must verify their eligible noncitizen status through their school before they receive any federal funds. These changes streamline the process for students who have contributors without an SSN to complete their FAFSA form.

    This temporary allowance for those individuals without an SSN, to enter and complete the FAFSA form, will only be available until the IRS data retrieval issues for those without an SSN are resolved. The department is working on a resolution and will share an update as soon as possible. The department will continue to work expeditiously to complete the manual validation process for those without an SSN. The department is committed to ensuring that all students and families, regardless of their background can equitably access the FAFSA form.

  3. + May 1, 2024: Reprocessing and student corrections

    From the U.S. Department of Education:

    The U.S. Department of Education completed reprocessing FAFSA forms impacted by known issues with the FUTURE Act Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) and has now transmitted the Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) from more than 8.3 million FAFSA forms to schools, states, and designated scholarship organizations. In addition, nearly 1 million corrections have been successfully processed, addressing the most common issues with FAFSA submission.

    Whether resulting from a new submission or a correction, applicants’ ISIRs are now being sent to schools and states within one to three days of submission.

    The department has now delivered the reprocessed ISIRs of nearly all impacted records to institutions and states. The completion of reprocessing of FAFSA forms affected by known issues with both the FA-DDX and FAFSA Processing System should enable all institutions to package aid offers, including those institutions who chose to wait for all reprocessed records prior to proceeding. The department is also emailing applicants and their contributors who still need to make a correction to the form or have started but not completed their form.

  4. + April 26, 2024: New video and support resources available

  5. + April 26, 2024: Checking status of FAFSA forms

    From the U.S. Department of Education:

    You can check the status of your 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by

    1. logging in and
    2. finding your application status in the Status Center under “My Activity,” which displays after you log in if you have already started or completed a FAFSA form.

    The status of your FAFSA form will be one of the following:

    • Draft: Your section of the FAFSA form is incomplete.
    • In Progress: You provided your consent, approval, and signature to your section of the FAFSA form, but the FAFSA form has not been submitted yet.
    • In Review: Your FAFSA form was submitted but hasn’t been processed yet.
    • Action Required: You are missing your consent and approval or signature or the FAFSA form was processed, but a correction is required.
    • Processed: Your application was processed successfully. No further action is needed.
    • Closed: Your FAFSA form was never submitted and can no longer be submitted because the federal FAFSA deadline passed.

    If you submitted a paper 2024–25 FAFSA form, you can check the status of your form once it has been processed.

    To check the disbursement status of your federal student aid, contact Polk State College’s financial aid office at financialaid@kavlingsejahtera.com.

  6. + April 26, 2024: FSA IDs

    From the U.S. Department of Education:

    The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID (account username and password) allows individuals to access Federal Student Aid websites and complete the FAFSA form online.

    For the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, students and contributors (parents or spouses) are required to have an FSA ID to complete and sign the form online.

    For the 2023–24 FAFSA form, you aren’t required to have an FSA ID to complete and submit the form. However, it’s the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed. It’s also the only way to access or correct your information online or to prefill an online FAFSA form with information from your previous year’s FAFSA form.

    If you don’t already have an FSA ID, you can create an FSA ID.

    If you have an FSA ID but don’t remember your username, select “Forgot Username.” Note: If you verified your email address or mobile phone number during account creation, you can enter your email address or mobile phone number instead of your username.

    If you have an FSA ID but don’t remember your password, select “Forgot Password.”

    Contributors: If you previously created an FSA ID when you were a student, you don’t need to create another one. You can only have one FSA ID.

    Note: Students may still choose to fill out the form as a PDF and then print and mail the FAFSA form, but the process is much slower, and it is more difficult to correct mistakes after submission.

  7. + April 26, 2024: Late receiving a FAFSA Submission Summary? Don't reapply

    Students should receive a FAFSA Submission Summary one to three days after submitting their application. Those who do not receive a summary should not reapply, but instead follow these steps:

    1. Log in to StudenAid.gov using your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID (account username and password).
    2. Navigate to Dashboard.
    3. Select your processed FAFSA submission from the “My Activity” page; this will bring you to the “Details” page.
    4. Select “View FAFSA Submission Summary.”

    If you submitted a paper FAFSA form, you can check the status of your application once it is processed.

  8. + April 26, 2024: Six things to check on FAFSA Submission Summary

    After successfully completing their FAFSA, students should review their FAFSA Submission Summary.

    One to three days after a student submits a 2024-25 FAFSA (and provided a valid email address), the student should receive an email letting them know that they have a FAFSA Submission Summary to review. After you receive the email, you can log in to your account at StudentAid.gov to review the Summary. If you didn’t receive (or missed) the email, but have submitted a 2024-25 FAFSA, you may want to just log in to your account to see if you do have the Summary.

    The FAFSA Submission Summary has four tabs:

    • Eligibility Overview
    • FAFSA Form Answers
    • School Information
    • Next Steps

    When you are reviewing those tabs, here are six things you should do, and remember, you may need to act on some things:

    1. Find out your eligibility for federal financial aid. The “Eligibility Overview” tab has the dates your application was received and processed, as well as the Data Release Number (DRN), which you can use to add colleges to your application (by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center or the college). The tab will also have your estimated federal student aid and your Student Aid Index. This amount won’t be final until you receive a financial aid offer from your college, but knowing your federal financial aid eligibility may help better plan and select a college that is affordable to attend.
    2. Determine if you need to act for your FAFSA to be fully processed. Also, under the “Eligibility Overview” tab, you could receive a notice that you need to provide some additional information for FAFSA to be fully processed and your eligibility for federal aid determined. You’ll want to respond quickly so that you can receive any financial aid for which you’re eligible.
    3. Check to see if you are selected for verification. With the new 2024-25 FAFSA form, there should be less need for verification, but if you are selected, you’ll see an asterisk by your Student Aid Index (SAI). Being selected for verification doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong. You may have just been selected at random and some colleges verify the FAFSA information of all students. Your college will contact you and ask for additional information. Be sure to respond quickly to receive all the financial aid for which you are eligible.
    4. Review and correct any mistakes. Under the “FAFSA Form Answers” tab, you will see the information you provided and, if applicable, any information provided by your contributors. Federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) won’t display. Review the information and correct or update any of the information.
    5. Compare the colleges listed on your FAFSA and, if needed, add or remove colleges. Under the “School Information” tab, you’ll see those colleges you selected to receive your FAFSA information. If any colleges are missing, if you’ve decided you want to consider another college, or if you want or remove a college from your list, you can do so now. Also, this part of the FAFSA Submission Summary will have more information about each college, such as graduation rate, retention rate, average annual cost, so you can compare them and decide which is the best fit for you.
    6. Determine if you are required to take some next steps for your FAFSA to be processed. Under the “Next Steps” tab, you’ll see any comments that pertain to your FAFSA. Those comments may just be informational or could require you to submit a correction or send additional documentation to the college you plan to attend.

    If you take any action on your FAFSA Submission Summary, such as adding another college, changing information, or correcting a mistake, make sure you hit “submit” so the Department of Education will process the FAFSA again and the colleges you listed on the FAFSA will also receive the updates.

  9. + April 26, 2024: Maintenance scheduled for Federal Student Aid website

    The U.S. Department of Education has an outage planned for the StudentAid.gov website for the early morning hours on Saturday, April 27.

    The website is set to undergo maintenance from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. The impact for students is expected to be minimal.

    An alert will be posted on the site’s home page, login page, and landing pages to notify users of the site maintenance.

  10. + April 19, 2024: New resources available for Spanish-speaking communities

    The U.S. Department of Education hosted a webinar in Spanish for students, their families, and organizations that support Spanish-speaking communities. Our team outlined the process to complete and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form. The recording, which includes English subtitles, is available now on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Outreach YouTube channel.

    The department also announced the addition of the FSA Information Center, a student support hotline for questions about the FAFSA form. The number is 1.800.4.FED.AID.

  11. + April 17, 2024: Students to be notified of needed FAFSA corrections

    On Thursday, April 11, the Department of Education began notifying students of needed corrections to their FAFSA applications. These notifications will be made incrementally. More students could receive notifications in the days and weeks to come. A tutorial on making corrections or changes can be found here.

  12. + April 15, 2024: Complete your FAFSA forms

    Students are urged to make sure they have completed their forms for the 2024-25 Academic Year.

    The changes to FAFSA are intended to streamline the application process, expand eligibility for federal student aid, and reduce barriers for some student populations. These changes have caused a delay on the federal level with the U.S. Department of Education.

    With these delays, it is possible that students have not yet received information on whether their applications were received or completed properly. They are urged to stay patient as updates are expected soon.

    Federal student aid, which includes Pell Grants, student loans, and the Federal Work-Study Program, is available to Polk State students and prospective students with a high school diploma or general education degree (GED). State and institutional financial aid funds are also available through FAFSA. With the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) program expiring in May 2023, HEERF funds will not be available for the 2024-25 Academic Year or moving forward.

    Polk State’s FAFSA school code is 001514. Information about how to apply can be found here.

    Students with questions about financial aid can email financialaid@kavlingsejahtera.com. More information about financial aid can be found here.