Expect Delays and a “Soft Launch” of the FAFSA in January

by | Dec 19, 2023 | FAFSA Help

Federal Student Aid has announced that the FAFSA will open as scheduled by the end of this month, but families and counselors should plan for a “soft launch” over the month of January as FSA works out kinks in the system.


FAFSA Delay Impacts

FSA announced in November that there would be delays in processing student FAFSAs after submission and that families should know that the system won’t be fully functioning until late January.

A few highlights:

  • Colleges will not receive student data from the FAFSA until the end of January.
  • Families will not receive their FAFSA Submission Summary and will not be able to add schools or make corrections until late January.
  • State aid applications will face the same delays.
  • Colleges will need time to test their systems once the FAFSA data is flowing. It is expected that financial aid offers will be delayed until late February or March at the earliest.


It is crucial that you stay in touch with the colleges you are applying to. Colleges may be collecting financial data in a different way this year. Follow their instructions and make sure to meet their deadlines.


FAFSA Delay Information

Get the latest information about the FAFSA “soft launch” and FAFSA processing delays below:

The Federal Student Aid Announcement:
2024–25 FAFSA Soft Launch Details and Timelines

Analysis from the National College Attainment Network:
More 2024-25 FAFSA Delays and Latest Roundup of What to Expect