Leaders urged to promote FAFSA
Turnout is low for college aid form, which is due May 2
April 15, 2024
The deadline for students to submit their FAFSA application forms has been extended to May 2 after the California Legislature pushed back the date to give students more time to apply.
“The state’s action was a critical first step,” said Iván Carrillo, ACSA senior director of Governmental Relations. “Now it is critical that direct outreach and support be provided to students to ensure completion by the fast-approaching deadline.”
April 15-19 is the FAFSA “Week of Action” and the White House is urging schools to host in-person events, send emails, texts, or push notifications with FAFSA information, and incorporate FAFSA information into newsletters, webinars and upcoming school events.
This past year, the federal government made changes to the FAFSA application, aiming to simplify and streamline the completion process. The changes delayed the release of the updated FAFSA application and, to date, only 40 percent of California high school seniors have completed the application.
“The numbers are alarming as they are far behind prior year submission levels,” Carrillo said. “However, there is still time to ensure students complete the FAFSA and by extension provide them access to much needed funding to support their higher education.”
The U.S. Department of Education has also been working diligently to remedy technical issues students face when trying to complete the FAFSA. However, many students continue to face challenges completing the form, particularly students from mixed-status families — students who are U.S. citizens or FAFSA-eligible non-U.S. citizens with one or more parents without a Social Security Number. These students and families are facing a difficult identity verification procedure and prolonged processing times that jeopardizes their ability to apply for and receive financial aid that they are entitled to, which can derail their journey to higher education. In response, the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, Gov. Newsom’s administration and the Legislature, the California Student Aid Commission announced April 9 that students from mixed-status families who have been unable to complete a FAFSA will be able to complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). This will allow more students who are applying for financial aid for the first time to complete a financial aid application before the May 2 state priority deadline for financial aid.
  • The Better FAFSA Toolkit
  • 2024 FAFSA completion by state and high school
  • FAFSA flier for families/students
  • CADAA resources for mixed-status families