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Gen Z College students Upset with Monetary Support Provides Arising from the New FAFSA

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In April 2024, ScholarshipOwl carried out a survey to assist us develop a greater understanding of the true affect of the troubled rollout of the brand new Free Software for Federal Pupil Support (FAFSA) on Gen Z college students. We started learning this matter earlier this yr, and offered our leads to April 2024. Our April survey delved additional into the subject, specializing in whether or not or not college students had begun receiving their monetary support affords. In more moderen years, college students have sometimes acquired their monetary support affords by the tip of March, with many affords arriving previous to March. However as anticipated, the rollout of the brand new FAFSA has sadly resulted in vital delays, with lower than half of our respondents (44%) receiving even one monetary support supply as of the date they accomplished the survey. Much more irritating is that almost all of scholars we surveyed who had acquired a number of monetary support affords acquired much less grant and scholarship support than that they had anticipated, with 70% responding that they didn’t obtain any grant or scholarship affords – they had been solely provided loans.

70% of Gen Z students were only offered loans to pay for college

Who participated within the survey?

In April 2024, ScholarshipOwl surveyed highschool and faculty college students on the ScholarshipOwl scholarship platform to delve extra deeply into the impacts of the challenges associated to the rollout of the brand new FAFSA. A complete of 8,708 college students responded.

Among the many respondents, 61% had been feminine, 38% had been male, and a pair of% recognized themselves as different. Almost half (46%) had been Caucasian, 23% had been Black, 187% had been Hispanic/Latino, 67% had been Asian/Pacific Islander and 6% recognized as different.

Over half (59%) of the respondents had been highschool college students, with the overwhelming majority highschool seniors; almost one-third (32%) had been faculty undergraduate college students, primarily faculty freshmen and faculty sophomores; 7% had been graduate college students and three% recognized themselves as grownup/non-traditional college students.

Survey questions

Query 1

We started the survey by asking college students, “How has the rollout of the brand new FAFSA impacted you? Choose all that apply.”

  • 34% mentioned that they had problem finishing the shape because of technical issues with the FAFSA web site;
  • 12% mentioned they acquired a delayed response to an electronic mail they despatched to FAFSA as a result of they wanted assist finishing the shape;
  • 5% mentioned they by no means acquired a response to an electronic mail that they had despatched to FAFSA;
  • 18% mentioned they’re nonetheless ready to obtain their Pupil Support Index (SAI) Quantity from FAFSA;
  • 33% mentioned they’re nonetheless ready for a number of monetary support affords from the universities they’ve utilized to;
  • 28% mentioned they haven’t had any points, that every little thing has gone easily for them;
  • 10% mentioned they haven’t but submitted the FAFSA this yr, however they nonetheless plan to take action;
  • 4% mentioned that they received’t be submitting the FAFSA this yr.

How has the rollout of the new FAFSA impacted you?

Query 2

The following query was, “If you’ll be in faculty throughout the 2024-25 faculty yr, have you ever already acquired a number of monetary support affords from the universities you utilized for and/or might be attending?”

  • 44% mentioned sure
  • 53% mentioned no
  • 3% mentioned they received’t be in faculty in 2024-25

If you will be in college during the 2024-25 school year, have you received any financial aid offers?

Query 3

The ultimate query was, “In case you have acquired a number of monetary support affords from schools from the 2024-25 faculty yr already, which of the next most intently applies to what you acquired in your monetary support supply(s)?”

  • 6% mentioned they acquired more cash by means of grants/scholarships than that they had anticipated;
  • 24% mentioned they acquired much less cash by means of grants/scholarships than that they had anticipated;
  • 70% mentioned they acquired no grants or scholarships in any respect – they had been solely provided loans.

If you've received financial aid offers for 2024-25, which most closely applies to your offers?

Key takeaways 

Quite a few media shops have reported that the rollout of the brand new FAFSA has encountered technical points in addition to delays basically; nevertheless, the expectation has been that these difficulties can be worthwhile, because the U.S. Division of Training’s FAFSA web site signifies that the adjustments to the FAFSA are anticipated to end in 610,000 new college students might be eligible for a federal Pell Grant, and an extra 1.5 million college students can even be eligible to obtain a most Pell Grant award. Sadly, these predictions will not be prone to be correct. In line with the Nationwide School Attainment Community’s FAFSA Tracker, simply 36% of this yr’s highschool seniors had submitted the brand new FAFSA as of April 26, 2024, which is down 24% in comparison with final yr.

The outcomes of our survey sadly additional show that the U.S. Division of Training’s predictions had been loftier than the fact. Amongst our respondents who had acquired at the least one monetary support supply from a university, simply 6% acquired more cash by means of grants/scholarships than that they had anticipated. Among the many remaining respondents, 24% mentioned they acquired much less cash by means of grants/scholarships than that they had anticipated, whereas 70% had been solely provided loans.

What steps can college students take to make sure they will afford faculty?

There are a selection of steps that college students can take to make sure they’ve an inexpensive path to varsity:

  • Should you plan to attend faculty in 2024-25, it’s crucial that you simply submit your FAFSA straight away. Should you haven’t but, submit it as we speak at www.fafsa.gov.
  • If you’re nonetheless ready to obtain a number of monetary support affords from schools you utilized to, contact every faculty’s monetary support workplace to ask for a standing in your monetary support supply. Ask them if there’s any data or documentation that you would be able to submit that may make it simpler for them to get their monetary support supply to you.
  • If you’re disillusioned with any monetary support affords you’ve acquired, and in the event you really feel that you would be able to doc why it’s best to obtain a greater supply, contact the faculty’s monetary support workplace and ask them to elucidate the right way to attraction your monetary support award. Comply with the steps they describe and submit your attraction straight away. Be aware that on your attraction to have an opportunity at success, you’ll want to have the ability to clarify and doc why you’re feeling your monetary support supply is wrong. For instance, in case your guardian/guardian just lately misplaced their job, or if your loved ones has giant medical payments, you would want to submit documentation to assist your assertion.
  • Prioritize making use of for scholarships with ScholarshipOwl.
  • Apply for scholarships from the colleges you might be making use of for and/or are at the moment attending; in the event you’ve already utilized for these scholarships, contact the monetary support workplace to ask for a standing in your utility.
  • Work part-time throughout the faculty yr and full-time throughout breaks. Save your earnings to make use of on your faculty training.
  • When you do obtain your monetary support affords, examine them and concentrate on selecting essentially the most inexpensive faculty. In case your first-choice faculty provided you a much less monetary support and scholarships than different colleges provided, contact your most well-liked faculty to see in the event you can negotiate your supply to at least one that’s extra inexpensive for you.
  • All the time contemplate beginning at a neighborhood faculty, which affords a really inexpensive possibility – and don’t overlook that neighborhood schools additionally supply federal and state grant support, they usually additionally supply scholarships. So even if you’re planning to attend neighborhood faculty, all the time submit your FAFSA and all the time apply for scholarships!

REMEMBER: Pupil loans ought to all the time be a last-resort possibility for paying for school. Give attention to debt-free sources that may allow you to graduate with out the burden of owing hundreds of {dollars} for school! Give attention to making use of for scholarships and jobs, NOT loans, so as to graduate debt-free. There IS an inexpensive path to varsity – for additional data, and to start out making use of for scholarships, go to www.scholarshipowl.com.



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