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College Countdown BLOG

Bad News & Good News

When will the new FAFSA form open online?

BAD NEWS: The US Department of Education announced that colleges and universities will receive FAFSA applicant data (called ISIR files) beginning in the first half of March, up to six weeks later than the expected January 31 date. This means that colleges cannot process financial aid packages until late March at the earliest. Students will likely not receive financial aid offer letters until April or later. 

GOOD NEWS: The US Department of Education (ED) also announced  that it will update the supporting data tables used in the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation to account for inflation, giving students access to an  additional $1.8 billion in need-based federal student aid. The data files sent to colleges and universities in March will be based on the updated tables. 

What does this mean for students? The delay in sending data to colleges means that colleges and universities will be unable to finalize financial aid offer letters until late March, or, more likely, April at the earliest.  This could very well delay a student’s college decision beyond May 1st. Students who need to make corrections to their FAFSAs will be able to do so once the data files are sent in March. The updated SAI tables will mean more funding for more students, so there is at least some good news amidst the delays. 


Are you searching for scholarship opportunities to help pay for college? Check out My Scholarship Central now as deadlines are looming!

My Scholarship Central

College Admissions Decoded

What are you really going to pay in college tuition? The College Admissions Decoded podcast released an episode sharing tips for parents to help you avoid common mistakes and assumptions.


College Admissions

Admitted to college? Now what?

There is plenty to consider before you sign with the college of your dreams:

  • Determine the enrollment deposit or fees you will need.
  • Investigate competitive scholarship applications.
  • Complete Honors College and other program applications for which you are eligible. 
  • If you are living on campus, review housing contracts and deposits.
  • Register for orientation or advising to schedule your first semester of classes. 

Research your colleges carefully because some fees may NOT be refundable.


When will the new FAFSA form open online?

The new FAFSA had a soft launch which means it may be open or closed at any given point in the day. Is there anything you can actually do at this point? We recommend creating your FSA ID and visiting What You Can Do Now while while the U.S. Department of Education works out the bugs.