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Potential Processing Delays for Financial Aid Due to Calculation Error

The U.S. Education Department (ED) said it has discovered a calculation error in student financial aid applications sent to colleges this month and will need to reprocess them, potentially continuing delays for college applications.

Justin DraegerJustin DraegerA vendor working for the federal government incorrectly calculated a financial aid formula for more than 200,000 students, the department noted. The information was sent to colleges to help them prepare financial aid packages but now needs to be recalculated amid the backlog of other financial aid applications.

ED officials said that they have fixed the error, and the problem would not affect applications that were processed correctly and distributed to colleges this month.

Justin Draeger, the president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, responded that β€œas always, schools will work in good faith with our federal colleagues to get information to students as soon as possible, but let’s not make any mistake β€” schools can only work with valid and correct data that is provided to them from the U.S. Department of Education.

β€œIt is not feasible or realistic to send out incorrect FAFSA data and ask thousands of schools to make real-time calculations and adjustments to the federal formula on the school side,” Draeger continued.

ED released information to support institutions, software developers, and states to answer common questions that have been raised and providing resources to troubleshoot known issues. The Technical FAQ and Known Issues Guide will document and respond to frequently asked questions about production ISIRs for the 2024-25 FAFSA year. The guide will be updated regularly through April 2024.

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