Mapping Your Future: Helping students with 2024-25 FAFSA are top concern of financial aid professionals


Helping students with 2024-25 FAFSA are top concern of financial aid professionals

By Catherine Mueller

February 14, 2024

Of all the worries about the 2024-25 FAFSA, financial aid professionals are most concerned about the problems encountered by students trying to complete the form.

Granted, many of those participating in Mapping Your Future's survey on Financial Aid Professionals’ thoughts about the 2024-25 FAFSA this past week responded that multiple issues were of concern. However, more than 50 percent of the respondents indicated that the FAFSA errors and roadblocks facing students and parents were the most critical concern.

Word cloud of survey results

The informal survey was an opportunity for more than 100 financial aid professionals to share what was most urgent. But rather than focusing on something to make their jobs easier, many indicated that what needs priority attention are the problems students and parents are having with the FAFSA.

The three-question survey asked participants to choose their top concerns, listing the following issues: lack of time to prepare financial aid packages, ISIR testing and processing, 2024-25 verification, problems students and parents encounter with the form, possible impact on future enrollment, or all of the above.

The delays in ISIR testing and processing and the lack of time to prepare financial aid packages followed as top concerns and those concerns were among the most frequent answers to the question, “What would help your office right now?” and those issues also showed up in the final question asking them to share any additional comments or suggestions.

Many financial aid professionals responded they needed to receive and test ISIRs (Institutional Student Information Records) in their system and were concerned about having enough time to ensure systems were working properly. Another top comment was the need for verification waivers. (On February 13, the Department of Education announced that it would begin releasing test financial aid records by February 16 and also said it would significantly reduce verification requirements.)

However, survey respondents frequently mentioned the need for clear communication on how to help students and parents, noting the need for timelines, tips, and FAQs. But ultimately, they would like, as one respondent said, “for the 2024-25 FAFSA application to be available to all students” and “for the errors in completing the FAFSA to be fixed.”

Contact the Mapping Your Future staff with any questions at (800) 374-4072 or