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Get in the Know: The Latest FAFSA Updates (February 2024)

The Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) recently identified seven additional open issues with the 2024-25 FAFSA form. It's understandably frustrating if you're in the middle of filling out your FAFSA, but we're here to help you navigate through these hurdles.


First off, if you've been trying to reach the FSA Information Center, you might have encountered some obstacles like long wait times, dropped calls, or representatives who are unable to assist. Hang in there! You can try using the "Live Chat" feature or send them an email for assistance.


FSA ID


Now, let's discuss issues in the FSA ID sign-up process. On the third screen, both SSN holders and non-holders have faced a frustrating issue: the process suddenly stops without any error message, and the page scrolls back to the top on its own. Some have tried deleting their street address to move forward, but it hasn't worked for everyone. If you're still stuck, give the FSA Information Center a call and ask for an FSA ID Tier Two Specialist.


For those without SSNs, there might be some additional steps to take, like being directed to a manual identification process if your information doesn't match up with TransUnion. In that case, your options are either going through the manual verification process or filling out the paper version of the FAFSA. Forms are available in both English and Spanish.


If you're going through the manual verification process and emailing an Attestation Form and ID copies to FSA, don't forget to include a case number with your documents - the Attestation Form asks for the MANVER# (see Attestation Form). You can get a case number by using the live chat option in the FSA Information Center—no need to call. Forms are available in English and Spanish.


FAFSA Online Form


Now, onto the FAFSA Online Form. There are two significant issues causing headaches for applicants. First, if you don't have an SSN, you can't even get started on the form. Second, some individuals are experiencing dropped signatures, which means they can't finish and submit the form. Unfortunately, this second issue can't be fixed until FSA sends out the FAFSA Submission Summary in the first half of March. Once you receive that, you can log in and make any necessary corrections.


In addition to those challenges, there are other issues in the FAFSA system:

  1. Error Messages During Form Completion: Some individuals are getting error messages that halt their progress. To troubleshoot, try rebooting your computer, using a different web browser, clearing your cache, or logging in and out a few times. If all else fails, you might have to start from scratch and delete the form entirely.

  2. Invitation Issues: Inviting others to join your form can be a headache too. Even minor typos, like extra spaces in addresses or names, can cause problems. For instance:

  • If a contributor’s address linked to their FSA ID is “123 First Street,” but they wrote “123 First St” in the form, this may present an issue.

  • Similarly, if a contributor’s name linked to their FSA ID is “Jane Doe” (without extra spaces), but they wrote “Jane Doe “ (with an extra space after the name) in the form, this may also cause an issue.

  1. Email Invitation Delivery: Some people aren't receiving their email invites, even though they've got a valid address. If that's happening to you, try logging into your StudentAid.gov account to see if you can access the form from your dashboard.


That's a lot to take in, but FSA has introduced some pro tips to help students and families successfully complete the 2024-25 FAFSA form. You can access these pro tips by visiting FSA’s Pro Tips Page.


Finally, from January through March, the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) and Capital One are partnering to offer free drop-in FAFSA workshops in Capital One Cafes. More details, including nationwide locations, can be found here.


And with that, we'll wrap up this blog. Remember, you're not alone in this process. At Uprooted Academy we're here to support you every step of the way.


Additionally, we host a series of free events throughout the year, including workshops on college admissions, financial aid, and more. We’re excited to announce our inaugural Major and Career Fair scheduled for March 16th, 2024, where you can explore a world of career opportunities and gain valuable insights. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and resources you need to make your college and career dreams a reality.


Good luck with the FAFSA!


Source: National College Attainment Network (NCAN) - "Navigating the Challenges of the 2024-25 FAFSA" 

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