Penn students in the Class of 2028 will receive financial aid packages on time despite FAFSA delays, according to the University.
The Department of Education announced in late January that it would not begin sending its data from FAFSA to colleges and universities until mid-March. The delay with FAFSA was caused by a significant overhaul to expand eligibility for aid and make the site more user-friendly. The Student Registration & Financial Services office told the Daily Pennsylvanian that student financial aid packages will not be impacted by the delay.
“In light of the continued FAFSA delays, Penn is committed to providing a timely financial aid decision based on a student’s remaining required documents,” a spokesperson for SRFS said.
The spokesperson said that every student who submits the required CSS Profile, Penn Outside Resource Form, and federal tax returns by the required deadlines will receive a financial aid package by May 1. When Penn receives data from the Department of Education, the Financial Aid Office will issue a new aid award if the student is eligible for federal financial aid.
“It's important to note that the total amount of aid for a student won't change, just the source of the aid,” the spokesperson wrote. “Our hope is that this commitment to providing a complete package helps admitted students feel confident in deciding to attend Penn without open questions about their financial aid."
The FAFSA application opened Dec. 30, 2023 this year, compared to Oct. 1 in previous years. This was due to changes in the process caused by the FAFSA Simplification Act. Penn Admissions previously told the DP that the change in application deadline would not impact the University's ability to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has denounced the delays in a Jan. 30 press release.
“These continued delays, communicated at the last minute, threaten to harm the very students and families that federal student aid is intended to help,” NASFAA President Justin Draeger wrote.