2024-25 FAFSA Update: Reassurance about FAFSA delays and Harvey Mudd financial aid

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Since our last update, we have been monitoring the status of the “Better FAFSA” throughout the winter. We have now begun to receive FAFSA applications from the Department of Education for our students, although we still need to ensure that all information has come in correctly. This message is to provide an update to incoming and returning students that we are keenly aware of all the challenges applicants are facing. Many families have been able to complete their FAFSA, while other families have repeatedly attempted to submit the FAFSA but have been unable to do so due to technology issues. We understand that this is out of the control of students and their families, and no student will miss out on financial aid due to a delayed FAFSA application. 

At Harvey Mudd, we rely on the CSS Profile application and signed copies of students’ and parents’ 2022 federal income tax returns to award most financial aid. The CSS Profile provides us with enough information to estimate the amount of federal and state financial aid a student is eligible for even without the FAFSA application. This means that newly admitted students who have submitted the CSS Profile are receiving a tentative offer of financial aid from Harvey Mudd including Federal Pell Grants, Cal Grants (if an eligible California resident), Federal Work-Study, and Federal Direct Student Loans. Once our office has received a student’s FAFSA application from the Department of Education, we will review the FAFSA and provide an official offer of financial aid. Because our financial aid software has already estimated your federal financial aid eligibility, we don’t expect that students will see many changes in their official financial aid offer.

We expect that we will have FAFSA applications on file prior to releasing returning student financial aid offers in the summer.

We understand that students whose parents do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) have been unable to submit the FAFSA. Late last week the Department of Education implemented a technical fix that allows contributors without an SSN to provide their information on the FAFSA and submit the form. Parent contributors without a SSN will have to manually enter their tax information, but if they enter their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) ED will attempt to retrieve tax information for the application. Some applicants and contributors are also still encountering an error message when inviting contributors without a SSN to complete the form. This occurs if there is a mismatch of personally identifiable information on the invitation and the contributor’s StudentAid.gov account or if multiple invitations have been sent by the applicant with different information in each invitation. This resolution is currently in process and impacted families are being asked to wait on inviting new contributors, however it is expected to be resolved by the end of March. Detailed information and options for applicants whose contributor (parent or spouse) does not have a SSN are provided online at studentaid.gov.

In California, the state has extended the deadline for students to submit the FAFSA until April 2, 2024, which we believe will allow students to submit their FAFSA on time and continue to be eligible for the State CalGrant scholarship program.

As for HMC, while our FAFSA deadline has passed, we will continue to accept FAFSA applications throughout the spring. In addition, this week we began receiving our first few FAFSA records and student document checklists will be updated in the coming weeks. We are expecting a slow release of FAFSAs and if you have submitted your application already, don’t worry if your document checklist continues to show that the FAFSA has not been received.

Rest assured that at HMC we have put in place a process that allows our students to plan for college costs based on the CSS Profile and the supplemental documents you may have already submitted despite the delayed FAFSA this year.

Please log in to the HMC Applicant Hub and click the “Financial Aid @ HMC Portal” button (located in the Your Financial Aid section) to view any financial aid applications and/or documents that are missing. We are always happy to help and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have.