A photo illustration of the FAFSA website.

A photo illustration of the FAFSA website. Credit: Newsday

Several colleges and universities — including the State University of New York system — have postponed the May 1 enrollment decision day because of delays in the federal financial aid process.

Several delays in the newly redesigned Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA, have meant that students still do not know how much financial aid they will get for college. Federal officials have promised the information by mid-March.

“This shortened timeline is a challenge,” said SUNY Chancellor John King, who hosted a virtual roundtable with several college students from across the state Thursday. The event was held to highlight the benefits of federal and state financial aid — especially for economically burdened students who otherwise may not be able to pursue a degree.

“This really is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the state and the country to make sure we make up ground and get every student possible to complete the FAFSA,” he said.

In response to the FAFSA delay, SUNY officials have pushed back decision day until at least May 15. Other colleges nationwide have as well. 

Officials with New York Institute of Technology and Adelphi University said they are giving students flexibility beyond May 1 and have been providing sample aid packages to families in the meantime.

Farmingdale State College and SUNY Old Westbury have moved their enrollment deadlines to June 1.

Hofstra University officials said they are keeping the May 1 deadline and that the “university's student financial services counselors are working directly with admitted students to help them make informed decisions.”

St. Joseph’s University in Patchogue will maintain its May 1 deadline, but officials there said they will work with students on offering extensions on a case-by-case basis. Molloy University in Rockville Centre also has not pushed its deadline back.

The FAFSA application period typically opens in early October, but was delayed for three months and in late January, the U.S. Department of Education announced the information will be given to colleges in mid-March. Schools used to receive this data in January or even in December in some cases.

Schools use that data to calculate a student’s financial aid package. Students use that package to decide where to commit and what they can afford.

A streamlined form was introduced this year that was supposed to make the process easier.

At SUNY Old Westbury, a team of students known as the FAFSA Completion Corps have been visiting local high schools — including a recent visit to Westbury High — to help families complete the forms.

King said those kind of efforts could expand statewide next year. Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed making completion of the application universal for high school students next school year.

New Yorkers leave $200 million per year in federal financial aid on the table by not completing the FAFSA, and state after state has shown that making the FAFSA universal expands college access and helps families receive financial aid, SUNY officials have said.

“FAFSA completion unlocks the door to opportunity by ensuring access to higher education regardless of a family's income or wealth,” King said.

Several colleges and universities — including the State University of New York system — have postponed the May 1 enrollment decision day because of delays in the federal financial aid process.

Several delays in the newly redesigned Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA, have meant that students still do not know how much financial aid they will get for college. Federal officials have promised the information by mid-March.

“This shortened timeline is a challenge,” said SUNY Chancellor John King, who hosted a virtual roundtable with several college students from across the state Thursday. The event was held to highlight the benefits of federal and state financial aid — especially for economically burdened students who otherwise may not be able to pursue a degree.

“This really is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the state and the country to make sure we make up ground and get every student possible to complete the FAFSA,” he said.

In response to the FAFSA delay, SUNY officials have pushed back decision day until at least May 15. Other colleges nationwide have as well. 

Officials with New York Institute of Technology and Adelphi University said they are giving students flexibility beyond May 1 and have been providing sample aid packages to families in the meantime.

Farmingdale State College and SUNY Old Westbury have moved their enrollment deadlines to June 1.

Hofstra University officials said they are keeping the May 1 deadline and that the “university's student financial services counselors are working directly with admitted students to help them make informed decisions.”

St. Joseph’s University in Patchogue will maintain its May 1 deadline, but officials there said they will work with students on offering extensions on a case-by-case basis. Molloy University in Rockville Centre also has not pushed its deadline back.

The FAFSA application period typically opens in early October, but was delayed for three months and in late January, the U.S. Department of Education announced the information will be given to colleges in mid-March. Schools used to receive this data in January or even in December in some cases.

Schools use that data to calculate a student’s financial aid package. Students use that package to decide where to commit and what they can afford.

A streamlined form was introduced this year that was supposed to make the process easier.

At SUNY Old Westbury, a team of students known as the FAFSA Completion Corps have been visiting local high schools — including a recent visit to Westbury High — to help families complete the forms.

King said those kind of efforts could expand statewide next year. Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed making completion of the application universal for high school students next school year.

New Yorkers leave $200 million per year in federal financial aid on the table by not completing the FAFSA, and state after state has shown that making the FAFSA universal expands college access and helps families receive financial aid, SUNY officials have said.

“FAFSA completion unlocks the door to opportunity by ensuring access to higher education regardless of a family's income or wealth,” King said.

Latest videos

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.