Cassidy blasts President Biden over FAFSA rollout delay

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The rollout of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been delayed, which could negatively impact potential college students who rely on financial assistance to attend college.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) blamed President Joe Biden’s administration for the roadblocks during a phone press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s supposed to be an exciting day for students and their families. Unfortunately, many students will be forced to make this life-changing decision with zero information about their financial eligibility for financial aid. …  This is a direct result of the Biden administration’s repeated failures in implementing FAFSA.”

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FAFSA is the application process that students use to receive financial aid for college – grants, loans and TOPS. After a potential student completes a FAFSA, universities use that information to make financial aid offers.

Many students base their decision to attend college off of these offers.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education expanded FAFSA eligibility and “streamlined user experience” with the optimized 2024-25 FAFSA form, according to the Federal Student Aid website. The updated student aid calculations are expected to make over 7 million students from low-income backgrounds eligible for Federal Pell Grants.

However, the changes to the FAFSA delayed eligibility determinations. Typically, universities begin processing FAFSA results in October the year before the priority deadline. This year, the priority deadline is May 1; Processing should have begun in October 2023.

But this year, the FAFSA system was not operational until January. Universities didn’t receive FAFSA information until March. Additionally, about 30 percent of FAFSA forms have processing or data errors. Cassidy said these applications won’t be reprocessed until after the priority deadline.

“Without these financial aid offers, there are concerns many students may skip college because they don’t know if they can afford it,” Cassidy said.

He continued by criticizing Biden’s administration for advancing student loan forgiveness efforts while the FAFSA process struggled to meet deadlines.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education announced an additional $7.4 billion in approved student debt relief for 277,000 borrowers. “While Biden’s Department of Education has failed to implement FAFSA, they’ve had plenty of time to concoct new student loan schemes to transfer hundreds of billions of debt from those who went to college to those taxpayers who either paid back their loans or did not attend.”

Cassidy deemed the situation “unacceptable.”

“I will continue to hold the Biden administration accountable, ensuring students have the resources they need to attend and afford college and help with our oversight.”

A hotline was created for students, guidance counselors, college admission faculty and financial aid administrators to report FAFSA issues by Cassidy through the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. This hotline can be accessed by visiting