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Colleges begin receiving student FAFSA information after delays

Colleges and universities are beginning to receive financial aid information on students after months of delays, the Department of Education announced Monday.

The administration said it began sending information to a “few dozen schools” on Saturday, marking the next step in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) system.

The department would not name the first schools to receive the financial aid data. After it receives feedback from the small set and works through any technical issues, it plans to ramp up its efforts to send out information to more colleges.

FAFSA reforms and changes were supposed to be solidified by the end of December, already a delay from the typical October start date for applications to open.

But hiccups caused the forms not to be fully available until the middle of January, with numerous bugs having to be worked on in the process.

After that, the department had to delay sending financial aid information to the schools until now.

Only around 3.6 million students have filled out the FAFSA forms, according to the department, much lower than the typical 17 million a year.

Students are hoping to receive financial aid offers from schools at the beginning of April.

Typically, they only have until May 1 to decide on a school, but some colleges have extended that timeline due to the FAFSA delays.

Republicans have called for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the FAFSA reform process, while Democrats have sent a letter to the Department of Education asking how the agency will help ensure families aren’t negatively impacted by these delays.

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