Colleges delayed in receiving FAFSA records; could cause longer wait for financial aid offers from schools

TENNESSEE (WJHL) — College students who complete the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will see delays in processing and reporting to their specified colleges this year, the U.S. Department of Education said.

A release from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) said the Department of Education notified its stakeholders that FAFSA records will not be released to colleges until mid-March this year.

Former Emory & Henry QB shines with Kansas City Chiefs

This means college students could see financial aid offers from selected institutions later than expected. The THEC said these delays won’t impact state financial aid programs such as Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect or the state’s HOPE scholarship.

The FAFSA typically launches each year on in October, but this year, applications didn’t become available until January. The THEC said this delay was “due to program updates to improve online functionality.”

Since applications didn’t open until January this year, institutions will be delayed in receiving processed FAFSA reports, thus delaying any financial aid offers extended to students.

A list of what the THEC called the “most urgent deadlines” for Tennessee students enrolling in the fall semester can be found below:

  • April 15, 2024: Priority FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)

  • May 15, 2024: FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee Promise Scholarship

  • September 1, 2024: FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee HOPE Scholarship

More information about FAFSA and the release of those records to Tennessee institutions can be found at

While delays are expected in processing FAFSA records, THEC wants to assure students and their families that this will not hinder their ability to access the support needed for their education. Students’ FAFSA information is expected to be sent to their selected colleges in mid-March. Once processed, colleges will assess financial aid eligibility, ensuring students receive the financial aid for which they qualify.

Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WJHL | Tri-Cities News & Weather.