FAFSA Deadline push leaves college decisions up in the air for prospective students

Photo credit: Eva Ibert Roca

For years the day students commit to a university or “Decision Day” has been on May 1. With FAFSA moving the deadline, UM has decided to move their commitment deadline to May 13 to allow students to have a better idea of their financial situation before committing to the University.

Prospective and current students alike are now scrambling to find a solution to their financial distress. The FAFSA deadline for the state of Florida is now pushed back to May 15, 2024, being difficult for UM prospects to find out if becoming a ’Cane is the right choice.

This decision has made it very difficult for students who may desire to come to the school but will not be aware of the status of their financial aid at the time of the decision date.

Many of the delays this year were due to the rollout of the FAFSA Simplification Act, which allows for rolling changes to the online form and the backend technology that supports it.

“I am stressed now that the deadline has moved to be earlier, it was much later in years prior and it impacts my ability to plan accordingly,” said Lauren Dziedzic, a sophomore at UM double majoring in Business Management and Psychology.

There are many current timeline delays with schools processing FAFSA information with other universities rolling out FAFSA information at the end of April at the earliest. Changing this date would give students more time to assess their aid packages, make their decisions, and be able to choose a University.

While these changes are meant to make the FAFSA simpler for students and their families to navigate, it has caused a significant adjustment to the deadline, leaving students wondering if they are financially prepared to attend UM at all.

All U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens are still required to submit FAFSA each year to be considered for financial aid.

“The new 2024-2025 FAFSA applications open in Dec 2023 and will require 2022 income and wage,” according to UM undergraduate admissions.

UM may not get records from Federal Student Aid until late January/early February, which is much later than normal as for previous years.