FAFSA is a nightmare for students

These glitches shouldn’t have happened in the first place given that it took months for the application to be released.| Kailey Krantz, PantherNOW

Kailey Krantz | Staff Writer

Students depend on financial aid to pay their way through college, but lately it’s been a nightmare. FAFSA has been hitting the wall with multiple glitches, making students wonder if it’s even worth it to submit it.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is an application the federal government uses to calculate your finances and determine how much financial aid you qualify for in federal grants and loans.

However, this system has done more harm than good in recent weeks while trying to streamline the application process.

Glitches in the system include miscalculating aid due to missing data fields and website crashes leading to delays in receiving financial aid.

The attempt to make applying for the FAFSA easier is beyond ironic because this change is doing more harm than good. These applications ended up opening months later than students were anticipating, making them wait on their financial aid packages, instead of working to budget themselves accordingly. 

Financial situations play a big factor in where students go for college and our generation doesn’t want to be drowning in student debt like previous generations

Some colleges may require students’ FAFSA information to offer their own scholarships, grants and loans. Without that, students are left scrambling to pivot toward a different academic direction that wouldn’t hurt their bank accounts. 

One of the major benefits of completing a FAFSA application is the possibility of a work-study job – that is no longer the case. 

The problem is that work-study jobs have suffered a drastic cutback at FIU. The House Republican Funding Bill proposes to eliminate funding by cutting $1.2 billion for this program, which is harmful to the students who depend on the opportunity to work on campus through this program.

FIU should be offering or protecting the work-study jobs, not rescinding them because students rely on these jobs to pay their way through college and have some money left over for their other expenses. 

The result of these malfunctions has dramatically affected applicants, especially those in the Hispanic community.

There was a glitch that prevented applicants without a Social Security number from sending in their forms. Students and their parents who immigrated to the U.S. are rightfully worried about not getting a chance to participate in higher education.

While the government is continuously working to fix these glitches and there are ways of navigating around said glitches, that doesn’t mean it fixes their trust in the system. 

These glitches shouldn’t have happened in the first place given that it took months for the application to be released.

A majority of FIU’s student body and its prospective applicants come from Hispanic families who have immigrated to the United States or are first-generation students, which already puts them at a disadvantage compared to other applicants for not being able to complete their FAFSA.

These issues surrounding financial aid aren’t helping students ease the pain of filling out these forms.Students are already worried about getting enough financial aid to pursue higher education – and the glitches in the new FAFSA form only send their fears into overdrive.

I understand the fears and anxieties of the students who are experiencing these glitches. College is expensive and they shouldn’t have to be the ones to struggle through this alone. 

A government-issued form should help students get into college, not lock them out. If the government doesn’t work quickly to fix their FAFSA, many students are going to miss the opportunity to go to college. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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