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Delaware offers assistance to students applying for financial aid

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Delaware Department of Education

The Delaware Department of Education offers assistance to students applying for college financial aid who are impacted by delayed federal financial aid decisions.

“We will continue to look for ways to remove barriers and provide direct support to help students who want to continue their education after high school find the resources and support they need to succeed,” said Education Minister Mark Holodick.

The U.S. Department of Education recently changed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The newer FAFSA reflects changes to processes that have not been updated in 40 years, including changes to FAFSA form length and eligibility calculations.

While these changes will ultimately benefit more than 7 million students eligible for a Pell Grant, the new FAFSA rollout has come with challenges, including a three-month delay in opening the 2024-25 FAFSA application and delayed responses.

As of March 1, 32% fewer Delaware high school students have filed a 2024-2025 FAFSA than last year, reflecting the national trend. Regionally, 35.7% fewer students submitted a FAFSA.

Both the state's SEED and Inspire scholarships require completion of the FAFSA. Therefore, it is imperative that students complete the FAFSA before the start of the fall 2024-25 semester. To date, the federal processor has sent significantly fewer FAFSA results to states and colleges, which will delay the awarding of financial aid and scholarships.

DDOE's Office of Higher Education works to support Delaware students and increase FAFSA completion.

  • State scholarship application deadlines have been extended to give students more time to complete their FAFSA and to allow the federal assessor to send the results to the state.
  • The May 15 federal FAFSA completion deadline will be extended to June 15, or longer if necessary, to accommodate additional delays or issues at the federal level.
  • DDOE has contracted with Stand By Me to provide direct FAFSA completion assistance to every high school student at no cost to the school or student. Stand By Me offers in-school FAFSA assistance and virtual appointments, including evenings and weekends.
  • DDOE will also launch community-based FAFSA completion supports for students and families from May through September to reach students outside of the high school environment.