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University extends deadline for incoming students to accept offer of admission

Citing delays in the FAFSA process, the University extended the deadline to May 15

<p>Prior to its overhaul, some applicants <a href=""><u>criticized</u></a> the complexity and length of the application, with some users being required to answer as many as 106 questions.&nbsp;</p>

Prior to its overhaul, some applicants criticized the complexity and length of the application, with some users being required to answer as many as 106 questions. 


The University extended the deadline for students admitted to the Class of 2028 to accept their offer of enrollment to May 15, per an announcement released Tuesday. The University cited delays in receiving student financial information from the U.S. Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid — which helps determine the financial aid packages universities offer to accepted students — as the primary reason for this extension. Colleges and universities around the country are facing similar delays in getting FAFSA information, with some pushing back the timeline for providing students with financial aid offers. 

The FAFSA, filled out by over 17 million students every year, uses families’ financial information to determine whether students are eligible for financial aid from the federal government. In accordance with the FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress in 2020, the Department of Education released a new, streamlined version of the FAFSA Dec. 30 that promised improvements such as increased eligibility for federal Pell Grants, fewer questions, availability in more languages and the option for students to send their information to 10 more schools than previously allowed. 

Prior to its overhaul, some applicants criticized the complexity and length of the application, with some users being required to answer as many as 106 questions. 

The current delays universities are dealing with resulted from the transition to the new version of the application, which continues to present issues to some applicants. The Department of Education released the FAFSA application Dec. 30, and in the weeks afterwards, students reported issues such as being kicked off the website or being unable to log in entirely. 

Additionally, the Department of Education failed to correctly adjust for inflation in their guidelines for determining students’ eligibility for financial aid, per The Washington Post. This error would have made significantly fewer students eligible for aid, as well as decreasing the award for eligible students. The Department of Education initially considered not fixing the issue for the 2024-2025 aid cycle, but ultimately decided to correct their estimates late January, further delaying the financial aid eligibility information the Department of Education sends to colleges and universities. 

While this year’s form was made available to applicants in December, it typically goes live in October. The late release date of the updated application set back the timeline for students to receive their financial aid offers from colleges and universities.

In a statement to U.Va. Today, Dean of Admissions Greg Roberts said one motivation for pushing back the University’s enrollment deadline was to alleviate stress for students relying on financial aid. 

“We’re grateful to all the students who are thinking about joining us, and we don’t want any of them to feel that the problems with the FAFSA will keep them from doing so,” Roberts said. “We hope this change in our reply deadline will relieve at least some of the anxiety students and their loved ones may be feeling.”

The Department of Education announced Jan. 30 that colleges could expect to receive financial aid information in early to mid-March, pushing back the date for when students can expect to receive their award packages from colleges and universities to April at the earliest. In a typical year, colleges and universities provide financial aid offers to admitted students in March, and students have until early May to accept or decline their admission offer. 

Many other colleges and universities, including Virginia Tech, Williams College, Rutgers University and California’s U.C. state schools have responded similarly to the University, pushing back decision deadlines by up to a month. The new deadlines apply to all admitted students, including those who did not submit the FAFSA. 


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