“From a Hardship to a Crisis” – NASFAA Testifies on Current Status of the FAFSA Rollout

NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger and three other higher education experts, testified at congress on April 10th, 2024.  NASFAA staff writer Maria Carrasco wrote an article on the testimony. 

In her report, she provided details on the testimony to a House education subcommittee on Wednesday over the flawed rollout of the 2024-25 FAFSA, and detailed how Congress should work to rectify the ongoing challenges that have led the community to question the Department of Education’s (ED) credibility. 

In short, “we are in an awful place today,” Draeger said in his testimony reflecting the impact of the form’s rollout, which has been plagued by delays, glitches, and other errors. 

While Draeger expressed hope that the higher education community can still salvage the year, his testimony, along with those offered by experts in the field, documented ED’s serious missteps in carrying out FAFSA simplification, highlighted what challenges still lie ahead, and provided congressional lawmakers with suggestions for ensuring more accountability from department leaders.

In order to provide more context into the current status of the FAFSA rollout, Draeger’s full written testimony included a timeline of where the financial aid community stands with the new FAFSA, such as recently discovered IRS income data errors, more delays on when institutions will receive reprocessed FAFSA applicant records, and overall, a lack of clear communication from the department. 

But Draeger said specifically on Wednesday that the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for financial aid professionals came on January 30 — “a day that will live in the collective trauma” of financial aid professionals — when ED announced that institutions would not begin receiving Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) until the first half of MarchClick here for full article.