FAFSA processing delay to continue until mid-March

Nashville, TN – February 12, 2024 – The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) reports that students considering college can expect a delay in FAFSA processing. The U.S. Department of Education has informed stakeholders that records for the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will not be released to institutions until mid-March.

While the FAFSA typically launches in October on StudentAid.gov, this year the launch was delayed due to program updates to improve online functionality and became operational in January. Typically, FAFSA records as they are filed starting in October; however, this months-long delay in opening has resulted in postponement of students’ information delivery to institutions.

For Tennessee students, this means you may receive any financial aid offers from your colleges of interest later than expected. While there will be delays, rest assured that this will not impact the availability of funds for students enrolled in any state program, including Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect.

While delays are expected in processing FAFSA records, THEC wants to assure students and their families that this will not hinder their ability to access the support needed for their education. Students’ FAFSA information is expected to be sent to their selected colleges in mid-March. Once processed, colleges will assess financial aid eligibility, ensuring students receive the financial aid for which they qualify.

Last month, THEC announced that the Tennessee Promise FAFSA deadline has officially moved to May 15, 2024, to accommodate the late opening and to allow students extra time to complete the form.

As a reminder to students planning to enroll in the fall 2024 semester, the following are the most urgent deadlines:

April 15, 2024: Priority FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)

May 15, 2024: FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee Promise Scholarship

September 1, 2024: FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee HOPE Scholarship

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission recognizes the impact that this delay may have on students and families who rely on FAFSA records to make informed decisions about their education financing. We encourage students to stay updated and to reach out to their respective financial aid offices for guidance and support during this time.

THEC remains committed to supporting students in their pursuit of higher education and will continue to advocate for resources and opportunities that facilitate access to affordable and quality education for all Tennesseans. THEC encourages students to keep their college planning options open and remain optimistic about the financial aid offers that await them.

For more information and updates regarding the release of FAFSA records, please visit CollegeForTN.org or contact Tennessee’s FAFSA Hotline at 1-800-342-1663.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. Guided by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Act of 1967, as amended, THEC is responsible for developing and implementing policies and initiatives to support and enhance postsecondary education opportunities for Tennesseans.