The FAFSA Simplification Act created major changes in the administration of Federal Student Aid. Some of those changes are listed below.  

  • Anyone who provides information on the FAFSA form will be considered a contributor.
  • Students must consent and approve to be eligible for federal student aid.
  • Students and families can’t access the FAFSA form without a StudentAid.gov account.
  • The formula used to determine financial aid eligibility has changed.
  • Students may qualify for additional Federal Pell Grant funds.
  • The Student Aid Report is not the FAFSA Submission Summary.
  • The FAFSA was delayed in opening until December causing delays the rest of the year.

What should students expect when completing the 2024/2025 FAFSA?

  • Creating the FSA ID (username and password) is an important step in completing the FAFSA. This can be created at www.studentaid.gov.  If you don’t already have an FSA ID, verifying information with all federal databases may take 3-5 days. Remember, an FSA ID is needed for both students and Parents.  
  • Students or their parents can start the FAFSA application and invite the other to complete some of the required steps. The invite will go automatically to an email account provided, or they can log onto their dashboard at www.studentaid.gov.
  • Parents are now called contributors. To identify the student’s contributor, determine who has given the student 51% support. That person will have to have an FSA ID.  
  • Students should allow 4 weeks from submitting their FAFSA for MCC to award student funds.

How and when will students hear from MCC about financial aid? 

  • MCC has started sending Estimated Financial Aid letters, but we don’t anticipate aid to be posted on student accounts until the end of May.  
  • Information will be updated on the PeopleSoft student self-service Financial Aid tiles throughout the summer. Students are always encouraged to visit the financial aid office for current information.
  • Students should allow 4 weeks from submitting their FAFSA for MCC to award student funds.

What is Madisonville Community College doing to assist students with changes?

  • Financial Aid staff is reviewing scholarships with economic barriers until FAFSAs are processed.
  • Staff are also meeting with currently enrolled students who have received Pell in the past but are no longer eligible due to the changes.
  • Financial Aid staff has increased FAFSA completion awareness among currently enrolled students by hosting more events on campus and increased text messaging and emails.  The staff has visited high-traffic areas to nudge students to complete FAFSA. Additionally, we have partnered with our area high schools to provide training on FAFSA completion.
  • Outreach has started to students with rejected FAFSAs for editing and revision.  

What are some of the common issues with FAFSAs filed for 2024/2025? 

  • Some signed FAFSAs have been rejected with an error reporting that the FAFSA wasn’t signed. These FAFSAs will have to be resubmitted with new signatures.
  • Students have wrongly reported that their parents don’t have a social security number when they actually don’t know it or have access to it. Students must correct their parents’ social security number to complete the form.
  • Students check a button that states they don’t want Pell; they only want unsubsidized loans to prevent them from completing the FAFSA. This will eliminate the need for parent information, but the student will only be eligible for unsubsidized loans. There are two types of federal student loans, subsidized versus unsubsidized loans. Students are only eligible for a certain amount pending completed credit hours.  If a student only chooses to do student loans and bypasses the FAFSA they are only eligible for unsubsidized loans.  Unsubsidized loans start accruing interest immediately.
  • If parents have FSA IDs from the past with different last names, students must match their parents' last names to continue. 
  • Students think the FAFSA is submitted but did not successfully submit it.
  • A high rate of FAFSAs are being rejected and issues that colleges have been able to correct in the past now are not an option.

What is the priority deadline for financial aid for the fall 2024 semester?

  • The priority deadline for the fall 2024 semester is Monday, July 15.  
  • Students who have not completed FAFSA before July 15 should be directed to the Financial Aid or the Business Office to complete an extended payment option.
    • The extended payment option will allow Financial Aid the opportunity to assist students with the FAFSA and go over financial aid options.
    • Cancellation for nonpayment could still occur.
  • Please continue to encourage enrollment, this form will serve as a checking mechanism for students with delays.

What does this mean for MCC financial aid staff?

  • A new process has been implemented on how Peoplesoft receives ISIRS (FAFSAs drop into our system as ISIRS).
  • Staff have created new queries to match new ISIRS with enrollment.
  • Staff are seeing more rejected ISIRS.  
  • There has been a delay in students receiving estimated financial aid letters (estimated awards that have started in the early spring in past years).
  • Pell grant awards are now based on a sliding chart with more variables than before.
  • The number of students needing verification is down to 10%, but the rejection rate has increased to above 30%.