FAFSA glitch blocks students' financial aid applications

Students trying to get federal financial aid for college have had their applications rejected if they have a parent who does not have a Social Security number, according to reports

The glitch is affecting an unknown number of would-be university students across California and the country and is the latest debacle for FAFSA, the form that determines how much assistance students get for college. 

All citizens are eligible to apply through FAFSA, which stands for Free Application For Student Aid. But the recently revamped form, which was supposed to be easier to complete, has been rejecting students who have parents that are undocumented immigrants, according to NPR.

This comes after the form was released three months late and the Department of Education announced delays in transferring students' financial information to colleges and universities.

While Education Department officials try to untangle the latest problem, there is a concern that students may not enroll in universities without first knowing how much aid they will receive. The department said it will not be able to send students' FAFSA information to colleges until March.


Most California high school seniors shut out of even applying to the state’s universities

In 2023, 68% of Black students and 64% of Latino students did not meet A-G requirements, compared with 26% of Asian students and 48% of white students, according to EdSource’s analysis.

"It is our lowest-income students, who are first gen who are facing these barriers in the greatest numbers," said Noellia Gonzalez, the systemwide director of financial aid for Cal State University.

CSU, the country's largest university system, and the University of California, had extended their deadline by two weeks for students to sign forms showing their intent to enroll. This was meant to give them more time to look at financial aid options.

Some colleges are trying to ease the problem by providing forms which will estimate how much aid a student will get in the 2024-25 school year.