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    Students voice FAFSA concerns to Va Sen. Mark Warner

    By Basil John,

    25 days ago

    WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Students met with Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner Monday to tell him how the troubled FAFSA application upgrade impacted them.

    The delayed rollout of the financial aid service led to delays in college decisions for students.

    Karla Jean Valle is one of many students who were plagued by the FAFSA application process changes.

    “The whole process itself was hard figuring out,” Valle said.

    The rollout ran into glitches and processing delays, and some schools did not push back their decision deadlines.

    This left students, like Valle, stressed.

    “You have to figure out the deadlines for a lot of these scholarships, FAFSA, the college applications, when you’re getting back from, when you’re hearing back from colleges,” Valle said.

    Victoria Zambrano-Argueta ran into a major bug while submitting her application.

    “I got an indicator saying that there was an error in my FAFSA. That it was missing my student signature. However, there was never that opportunity to fill out that student signature. And I wasn’t the only one,” said Zambrano-Argueta.

    Both students spoke with Senator Warner to express their concerns about improving FAFSA.

    College counselor Will Esswein says students with challenging backgrounds are especially feeling the hit.

    “To see them struggling so hard and the same students coming back day in and day out has been really frustrating,” said Esswein.

    The Education Department estimates around 30% of the class of 2024 have completed their FAFSA applications, a significant drop from last year.

    “Why does the federal government have such an inability to deliver a new technology platform in an efficient manner?” Warner asked.

    Warner is disappointed the Education Department did not have a testing process before rolling out the new system.

    “I feel for these first-generation students, who without this financial aid, they’re just not going to be able to school,” Warner said.

    He says there is no silver bullet to fix what happened this year, but he will press for improvements for next year.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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