FAFSA’s Soft Launch Issues 

FAFSA has continually had some issues with opening their forms for the 2024-2025 school year. The website was originally scheduled to be opened October 1, 2023, but a new updated form was scheduled for January 1, 2024. (Photo Courtesy of Bryson I. White)

Shortly before the new year, many people tried to sign up for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form for the 2024-2025 year.

FAFSA was founded in 1992 in order to support students with paying for higher education.

According to the website, it has been going through maintenance to improve and make updates, or what it calls a ‘soft launch’.

During the soft launch, the FAFSA form will be available for short periods of time while we monitor site performance and form functionality,” said FAFSA’s support page . “We will initiate pauses for site maintenance and to make technical updates as needed to provide you with a better experience.”

My mom and I began experiencing some issues with the website when trying to work on it on December 31, 2023.

“The FAFSA form should’ve opened up by December 31 which left us having to complete the form over the New Year’s holiday,” said Nikki White, my mother.

Whenever she would load the website, the buttons ‘Start New Form’ and ‘Access to Existing Form’ would light up for a split second before they would ‘pause’ the site and you would be unable to complete a form.

“We spent three days and 30 minutes on the final day in a waiting room until we were finally able to login and complete the form. I had to refresh every hour during the soft launch,” White said.

It was incredibly annoying and frustrating for her because she was ready to fill out the form.

We were able to do it when she checked and refreshed the FAFSA website just before the new year during a window that had opened up and got the form completed.

Unfortunately, the inconvenience of the three month delay gives students and their families less time to fill out the form. Students filling out the form as well as colleges will not find out about any new information relating to FAFSA until late January.


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