Statement from NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez
January 30, 2024

Today the U.S. Department of Education released an Electronic Announcement notifying the field that institutions would receive FAFSA applicant information in March at the earliest. At NACAC, we are devastated by this news. All of the challenges presented by the new FAFSA rollout have the potential to harm the very students the FAFSA aims to serve — those who need federal financial aid to make higher education affordable.

As a former admission officer and college advisor, I am well aware of the extraordinary challenges this change creates, not just for students and families, but also for institutions. Without data from the Department of Education, institutions will not be able to produce financial aid awards and manage their enrollment and tuition revenue models. They will not be able to plan for class selection, housing needs, student support services, and so much more until later than normal this cycle, effectively shortening the amount of time they have to prepare for their incoming and returning classes of students.

If the announced timeline remains in place, students may not receive letters with aid offers until the middle of April, or even later. This will upend the typical enrollment timeline and create significant disruption and anxiety in an already tumultuous year.

Please know that NACAC has been communicating the needs of our membership with the Department of Education since the FAFSA rollout process began and will continue to represent you as we navigate this year’s challenging circumstances together. NACAC is committed to keeping the membership informed and as we learn more, you will be the first to know. We are also committed to uniting our members in this difficult moment. Together, we will find solutions that are in the best interest of students, families, and institutions.

Angel B. Pérez, PhD

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