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Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Navigating the Complexities: Understanding the Issues with FAFSA

Cole Tomlinson
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been plagued with bugs in the wake of the release of their new website, potentially compromising the chances of students to receive aid for college.

This year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), under the auspices of Federal Student Aid, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education released its new website. However, students have struggled to submit their forms.

The student aid supports low and middle income students with college costs and is the gateway for many scholarships.

“I have seen a lot of students and parents who have had issues with the new website and as a result, their FAFSA can’t be completed,” said Lincoln’s college coordinator, Aliera Zeledon Morasch. “If we can’t troubleshoot the issue, I have to tell them to call the federal student aid help number and this year, folks will stay on hold for two hours and it will cut off.”

Lincoln High School Senior Luca Pommer-Pineda had a difficult time submitting his application.

“Support was telling me to fill out 60 pages in paper and mail it to their offices,” said Pineda. “Every fifth period, I went to the college career center for an entire month to try different things and contact support.”

According to the National College Attainment Network, February 2024 saw less than 20% of seniors complete their FAFSA compared to nearly 40% the prior year

The new application separates the parent and student processes. On the former website, students and parents would complete the same form under the student’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.

However, the new website requires both students and parents to create an ID, one which requires a Social Security number. If a parent does not have one, the form currently can not be completed.

The Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) is another, Oregon specific, aid program which does not require a Social Security number. It is intended only for undocumented students.

The Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) is another application for financial aid; in order to apply, students need to either submit a FASFA or an ORSAA.

Any student having trouble with FASFA or ORSAA should see Zeledon Morasch.

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About the Contributor
Cole Tomlinson
Cole Tomlinson, Sports Media Editor
Cole is a senior this year. He is excited for the team camaraderie and being a senior. His favorite part of working on newspaper is discussing new article ideas in class meetings. Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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