February 13, 2024

Here we are again. Our work, disrupted. Our spirits, deflated.  

As a profession, we were already facing tremendous headwinds, and now we find ourselves overwhelmed by the effects of even greater FAFSA delays. Many in the NACAC community are exhausted, and emotions are running high.

What keeps us motivated is that despite the extraordinary challenges, we always find a way to move forward together. We work with grit and grace in service of the students and communities depending on us.

We are no strangers to disruption. Like a Department of Justice investigation, a pandemic, or a Supreme Court ruling on college admission, this year’s FAFSA rollout is unprecedented. It’s an uncharted territory we are learning to navigate.

While the temptation is to point fingers, place blame, and create divide, we ask that the NACAC community extend grace amongst colleagues. We hope all our members understand that no one counselor, institution, or organization has all the answers, and that we need time to ensure that whatever changes we make to college advising or admission processes does more good than harm. The decisions being made will impact access for students, the financial fortitude of institutions, and our stamina as professionals. We can’t take those decisions lightly, and we hope our community will come together with patience.

If we keep students and families at the center of our work, if we maintain open and consistent communication, and if we focus on sharing helpful resources, we’ll get through this disruption united instead of divided.

Last week, NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez hosted listening sessions with a diverse representation of members across sectors. Members shared their extraordinary challenges and their desires for NACAC’s help. These conversations are guiding how NACAC staff frame their advocacy with the Department of Education, their public messaging, and their strategy for member support.

In addition, the NACAC Board of Directors met last week. We discussed how the FAFSA delays are impacting our own work, and more importantly, how NACAC can put our member’s ideas into action. These include:

Enrollment Deadlines:

In the immediate aftermath of the FAFSA data delay announcement on Jan. 30, Angel Pérez issued a statement and NACAC joined with
nine other higher education associations
in urging colleges and universities to extend enrollment deadlines past the typical May 1 date.

NACAC will also host a directory on its website for institutions to share information regarding changes to their enrollment deadlines and financial aid priority dates. We will be collecting this information from member institutions and publishing an online directory as soon as possible. The primary contact at each member institution will receive an invitation later today to submit their information.


NACAC will continue to advocate with the Department of Education on behalf of the college admission counseling profession. We attend weekly meetings, share the perspective of our membership, and highlight the diverse implications of the delay. As we advocate, we want to make sure we are capturing your voice. If you’d like to share how NACAC can advocate for you regarding the impacts of the FAFSA delays, please email legislative@nacacnet.org. We will also continue to speak to the media about this issue and ensure that your voices are represented.


We have created a FAFSA resources webpage and will continue to update it on a regular basis. We also encourage you to bookmark the webpages of some of our closest partners in this work, such as NCAN’s challenges and resources page and NASFAA’s resource for students and families.

We will also continue to use our messaging platforms to keep you informed via the Bulletin, The Journal of College Admission, and our social media channels.

We take our role as your advocates seriously, and we want you to know how committed we are to supporting you through this and anything else that comes our way. As a global college access community, there is nothing we can’t overcome together.


NACAC Board of Directors

Angel B. Pérez, NACAC CEO