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FAFSA delays cause anxiety for thousands of students and parents

FAFSA delays stressing out students, parents
FAFSA delays stressing out students, parents 01:57

MINNEAPOLIS — Graduating high school is such an exciting and uncertain time. Adding to parents anxiety: thousands of students don't know how much college will cost next year.

That's because of major delays in the federal student aid program known as FAFSA.

The FAFSA application is enough to make any student and their family shudder.

"It already takes forever to fill out the FAFSA in general. It's a pretty tedious process." University of Minnesota sophomore Madeline Engel said.

But this year a move to make FAFSA better has lead to a major error that could have cost students more. Correcting that error is now resulting in a major delay.

"The bad news is that colleges are not going to get any of the student's FAFSA information until mid-March at least. That is what they are saying," Chris Wills, President of College Inside Track, said.

RELATED: Biden forgives $5 billion more in student loan debt. Here's who qualifies and how to apply.

It's unclear when the colleges will get the aid packages and final tuition costs to students. In most cases, that's months later than it has been in the past.

"It's not ideal being delayed because you just don't know," University of Minnesota sophomore Grace Hammer said.

Many incoming freshmen have been accepted at schools but don't know if they can afford to go. Existing students wonder if their aid package will stay the same.

"It's definitely not the best situation for many families, not just here, but in general," Engel said.

What is really frustrating for families and students is that the final timeline is so unclear. FAFSA says it should get the information to colleges and universities sometime in mid-March. As for when the colleges and universities will be getting the financial aid information to students and their families is anybody's guess.

The University of Minnesota said in a statement they recognize the delays are causing added stress for current and future students.

They said, "We are committed to helping students and their families through this time and are assessing the May 1 enrollment confirmation deadline for admitted freshmen."

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