The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Issues with new FAFSA form cause delays for seniors

The issues pushed back college decision day which typically occurs on May 1
Issues+with+new+FAFSA+form+cause+delays+for+seniors
By Madelyn Mulryan

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  is usually a relatively simple and easy part of the college application process. However, this year the application had students across the country waiting for their delayed financial aid letters. These issues have pushed back the college decision day which typically occurs on May 1.

The delays stem from problems with a new version of the FAFSA form which was released by the Department of Education last year. Although the new version was initially designed to make the process easier, many issues arose early on with the new versions.

More common problems with the forms include signatures disappearing, not being able to continue filling out the form, not being able to submit the form when finished and not allowing students from foreign countries to submit a mailing address from their home countries. These issues caused students to not know when or if they would receive the money they applied for.

Counselor Megan Mixon explained that of the numerous changes made to the form was the type of financial contributors that students could add to the form.

“In the past, [the FAFSA form] was all based on tax, but now we look at guardians,” Mixon said. “[In the old form], they’re based on the nuclear family with mom and dad. It wasn’t easy to do when parents are divorced so the [new] form was supposed to simplify that so you could put contributors, as opposed to [just] mom and dad.”

By Madelyn Mulryan

For senior Saad Fraitekh, his FAFSA form was not processed until mid-April. Fraitekh had submitted his form earlier in the year, but with all of the problems with the form it took him a long time to get processed.

“[The form] was not cooperating when I filled it out,” Fraitekh said. “I had to wait three weeks just to even confirm that it got sent.”

However, Fraitekh was able to work around his struggles by contacting the FAFSA support team.

“I just contacted FAFSA, and they just let me know that everything was alright,” Fraitekh said. “They said it was just the change in the system which was why everything was delayed.”

For senior Colson Knight, the issues were more user error than faults with the form. These issues he experienced along with the slow processing times have caused his form to still be unprocessed through decision day.

“I had to fill it out twice because I thought I submitted it before winter break,” Knight said. “But I got an email in March saying that I hadn’t submitted, so it was a big inconvenience.”

If issues occur when filling out the form, there are several resources to fix problems. Students can talk to their counselor in person or through email, the college’s financial aid department’s advice and the FAFSA website offers workarounds and support.

By Madelyn Mulryan
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About the Contributors
Ian Chern
Ian Chern, JagWire copy editor
This is junior Ian Chern’s second year on the JagWire staff. This year he is taking up the role of copy editor along with writer and photographer. Outside of school, Ian enjoys watching sports, listening to music, playing basketball and soccer, volunteering at food banks and spending time with friends and family. He is also a member of NHS, Science Olympiad and likes to participate in Relay for Life.
Evan LeRoy
Evan LeRoy, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Evan LeRoy’s first year on the JagWire staff. Evan is a reporter for both the newspaper staff and for the broadcast staff. Outside of school Evan likes to perform, take walks and spend time preparing for his next performance. Evan is excited to learn all the skills he will need to do both print and video journalism. Evan is excited to be a part of both groups and is excited to tell all the important stories the people of Mill Valley need to know.
Madelyn Mulryan
Madelyn Mulryan, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Madelyn Mulryan’s first year on the JagWire staff. She is exploring all roles for newspaper but especially writing. She enjoys reading, listening to music, spending quality time with friends and binge-watching shows. Maddie is involved in Youth for Refugees, Women’s Empowerment, Model UN and Debate. She is excited to make this year of newspaper great!

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