LifestyleEducation

Actions

Several Colorado universities push back commitment deadlines due to financial aid complications

FAFSA delays and glitches leave many college students frustrated
Posted at 5:28 PM, May 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 17:34:00-04

DENVER — The Denver Scholarship Foundation says several Colorado universities are pushing back their enrollment deadlines due to problems with federal financial aid assistance.

In February, the U.S. Department of Education said universities wouldn't receive student financial aid information until mid-March or April due to a calculation error. The department said that fixing the mistake would free up an additional $1.8 billion in student aid, but many universities now have a backlog of financial aid offers.

Denver7 previously spoke to Kimberly Salazar, a North High School senior who was struggling to complete her FAFSA form. Salazar is now in the final step of the application process, but she had to ask Regis University to extend her deadline until the application is fully approved, a request they granted.

"Every single day, I'm checking the account," said Salazar. "Regis is helping me out as much as they can, because they realized my situation.”

Although Salazar is receiving help, many students are still in limbo.

DSF data shows that 21% fewer Colorado students have submitted their financial aid forms this year compared to 2023, because of the financial aid struggles. DSF Director of Scholarships Natasha Garfield fears the ongoing delays from the revamped FAFSA will dissuade students from attending college.

"Our biggest concern all along is that not only are they not going to have their financial aid packages in place to make a decision about where they want to go, but that they would feel the process is too complicated and that college is not for them,” said Garfield.

Several Colorado universities push back commitment deadlines due to financial aid complications

The rollout of the new FAFSA form saw a series of glitches, errors and delays. Garfield said that the state recently made several updates, which shortened the process and made it easier to complete applications. However, DSF worries that the recent problems could have a trickle-down effect in upcoming years.

"It's so complicated this year, that it can really impact how students do in completing all of the other steps to enroll in college," said Garfield.

The Colorado Department of Education has held a series of town halls across the state to provide more information to students. Additionally, Garfield said it's still not too late to apply for FAFSA and that universities are helping students make up for the lost time.


D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.