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FAFSA Delays: What You Need to Know

The U.S. Department of Education has implemented a simplified version of the FAFSA, but issues with implementation are causing delays in the delivery of results.

Each year, students and families who wish to receive need-based financial aid are required to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It is also required for Tennessee residents to receive the HOPE Scholarship. This year, the Department of Education has released a new version of the FAFSA that represents the first major overhaul of the system in 40 years.

What's New?

The 2024-25 FAFSA form expands eligibility for federal student aid, including Pell Grants, and provides a streamlined user experience. The FAFSA now connects to the Internal Revenue Service to retrieve tax information and automatically fill out the form. Applicants will be able to skip as many as 26 questions, depending on their individual circumstances, and some applicants could answer as few as 18 questions, which could take less than 10 minutes.

Previously, students and their families could access the FAFSA beginning Oct. 1, but because of the updates to the 2024-25 FAFSA, the opening date was pushed back for a “soft launch” on Dec. 30. During its soft launch, the form was unavailable for periods of time as the U.S. Department of Education made updates.

Unfortunately, issues have persisted beyond the soft launch for users, including accessing and submitting the form. Subsequently, these problems have delayed sending student financial information to colleges and universities. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that colleges and universities will not begin receiving Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) until mid-March, possibly later. The ISIR is the institutional copy of your FAFSA application.

What Is Lipscomb Doing?

We know that the ongoing FAFSA delays are challenging for you because it means you don’t have the full financial aid information you need to make your college decision. We are committed to continue walking with you through this process and help find ways to make a Lipscomb education affordable for you. Unfortunately, for those who file the FAFSA, we cannot begin sending financial aid packages until we receive your ISIR from the Department of Education.

What Can I Do?

What's Next?

Lipscomb is monitoring the latest developments with the FAFSA. If we receive financial data from the Department of Education in mid-March and there are no further delays, financial aid packages will be released in late March.

For now, Lipscomb’s decision deadline remains May 1. If you need an extension, please reach out to your admission counselor.

Financial Aid Process Overview

Whether you are an incoming or current student, there are several steps in the financial aid process from applying to receiving aid, and we want to help you understand what to expect.

Incoming Students Current Students