Watchdog probes Biden admin’s mishandled financial aid disbursement.

February 22, 2024
1 min read


Government watchdog investigating Biden administration’s botched financial aid rollout which has caused delays in FAFSA applications and processing, leading to colleges pushing back admissions deadlines.

  • Delayed new FAFSA system causing processing delays
  • Colleges pushing back admissions deadlines

The Biden administration’s rollout of a new system for college students and their families to access federal financial aid has prompted a government watchdog to open two new investigations into the botched overhaul. A bipartisan omnibus spending bill enacted in December 2020 included legislation aimed at reforming and streamlining the process for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ahead of the 2024-25 award year.

Despite that lead time, the Department of Education’s implementation of the new FAFSA process has been beset by delays that have prevented the agency’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) from processing FAFSA applications on time. With students and their families in the dark about their potential financial aid award, delays have had the knock-on effect of causing colleges and university systems to delay their priority admissions deadlines.

In years past, FAFSA applications for the following year would open to students and families in October with institutions typically processing those applications in January to give students time ahead of institutions’ enrollment deadlines in May to evaluate their situation and make the best decision for them based on the financial aid package offered to them earlier in the spring. Delays from the agency’s overhaul process prevented FAFSA applications from opening until January, at which time the application was temporarily shut down.

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