Financial aid data delay could delay funds for college students

Colleges and universities were recently notified that critical financial aid data from the federal government will be late, delaying the entire process for financial aid packages to be carved out for students.
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. When a student files a FAFSA, it goes straight to the federal government, which determines how much aid it will give.
Schools typically start receiving that critical data from the government in October.
"This year, we were told we would receive that information by the end of January only to find out at the end of January that we won't receive any information until mid-March, at the earliest," explained Troy Cogburn, Manhattanville College vice president of enrollment.
The government has changed the way they calculate how much a student can get through. This means that students who are used to receiving a certain amount in aid per year might no longer get the same amount.
At Manhattanville College, 98% of students receive some sort of financial aid.
"Tuition here is like $65,000 including dorming, and I dorm here," said Karla de Soto, a junior at Manhattanville. For the past three years, she has received about $20,000. But next year that's no longer a guarantee.
"I'm definitely worried just because what I'm paying out of pocket is definitely a sacrifice for me and my family right now. So like I can't imagine paying more than what were paying now," de Soto said.
For high school seniors, this situation is disastrous.
"Seniors are used to comparing financial aid packages at this type of year so they can make a decision by the national priority enrollment deadline, May 1, and they are not able to do that at all this year," Cogburn said.
He recommends the best thing applicants can do is get their FAFSA applications in as soon as possible and to prepare for a rocky process.