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FAFSA Spring

Simple adages mark the arrival of spring: March is “in like a lion and out like a lamb,” April showers bring May flowers, and National College Decision Day, traditionally May first. 

Until 2024.

One acronym sums it up: FAFSA.  

Since 2013, I have continuously completed the FAFSA, and this version is more user-friendly, simplifying the application process, especially for first-generation students. 

However, the rollout has been a headache for all: admissions, students, parents, and enrollments.  The class of 2024 is the COVID class, either beginning high school remotely, masked, or a hybrid of the two.  Now, they are the FAFSA class.

By embracing my discomfort with the waiting game, I have learned a few things:

  • Navigating this chaos is an opportunity for students to advocate for themselves

  • Phoning the financial aid offices is more effective than email and teaches a skill that remains relevant

  • Developing a list of prospective colleges that a student wants to attend provides a favorable option regardless of the FAFSA

My students have been able to select the schools that best fit their needs without accumulating debt.   Yes!  

My son and I continue to wait for the FA package from two more schools.  Our responses diverge.  He is confident it will work out by connecting with the schools frequently AND because he likes his choices.  My discomfort is wanting to know his choice. In my head, I sing Bob Marley to remember, “That every little thing will be alright.”  

The class of 2024 continues to count down to graduation: FAFSA is not stopping them. 

Congratulations to my students!  

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