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HSN relaxes Scholarship Requirements due to Government Delays!!!

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HSN has decided to suspend the requirement in its Scholarship Application asking students to have applied for the FAFSA.  Students all over the country are struggling with the new application process from the federal government and the delays it is taking to process applications.

Because of this HSN does not want to omit any possible candidates from applying for our local scholarship we will be suspending that requirement for our Athletic Scholarship. We encourage ALL seniors in Hopewell to submit their applications to the best of their ability and completion with or without all of the qualifiers being met.

See full details below from money.com.

The rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, has been marred by delays and glitches. Now, colleges from coast to coast are taking drastic measures in an attempt to contain the chaos for incoming students.

Dozens of colleges across at least 14 states and Washington, D.C., have announced that they are pushing back their admissions deadlines as they wait for the Department of Education to send them the FAFSA information they need to craft financial aid offers to prospective students.

In effect, College Decision Day — typically May 1 — is being postponed by weeks in several cases. This day marks the deadline for applicants to commit to a college that they’ve been accepted into. (The deadlines for students to apply for college for the 2024-2025 school year have not changed.)

But before students commit to enroll in a particular college, they need to know how much it will cost them. Because of the delays, experts say students may not get college cost info until late March or even April, leaving them precious little time to decide where they will spend the next several years studying.

“We understand the frustration that students and families may be feeling,” April Grommo, an assistant vice chancellor of enrollment at California State University, said in an announcement that changed the CSU decision deadline from May 1 to May 15 for all 23 universities in its system.

New college commitment dates, new financial aid forms

About 80 other schools across the country made similar deadline changes, including major universities such as the University of Virginia, University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of Illinois-Chicagoand Ohio State University, according to a list compiled by Danny Tejada, a college counselor and founder of the college-consulting firm We Go To College.

So far, most colleges that have extended the deadline have set it to either May 15 or June 1, though some have not released a new date yet. Tejada says he hopes many more colleges postpone their deadlines, too.

While the new FAFSA is available now(albeit months behind schedule), colleges are still waiting to receive the financial information on the students who have filled out the federal aid form. Last month, the Education Department said that it would not be able to get this information to colleges until March at the earliest. Schools were expecting the information by the end of January. Even when colleges have it, they require a couple extra weeks to calculate their financial aid offers to prospective students.

Overall, the delays have roiled the typical financial-aid and college-admissions process. And not just for students, families and financial aid workers.

These financial aid packages are essential to Tejada’s work as a college counselor. Typically, he works with disadvantaged students and says that, under normal circumstances, he walks them through their financial aid awards so that they can compare and contrast what school makes the most financial sense. Right now, he’s not able to do that. And decision day is fast approaching.

At the same time, the delays are forcing colleges to get crafty.

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“Some schools are trying to get ahead of waiting for the FAFSA,” Tejada says.

In addition to pushing back decision dates, some colleges are coming up with their own new financial aid forms and processes so that they can send out offers without having to wait on the Education Department. These new forms aren’t meant to replace the FAFSA — which students should still fill out to the best of their ability. Rather, the college essentially collects some of the information it would have gotten from the FAFSA so that it can provide a reasonable estimate of how much aid it can give out.

One example, Saint Louis University (SLU), said it’s launching a new form so that families can receive their financial aid packages by the end of February. The university also suspended all financial aid application deadlines in response to the FAFSA delays.

“Selecting a college is a monumental decision, and the FAFSA delay only adds an extra layer of stress,” Rob Reddy, SLU’s vice president for enrollment, said in the announcement.

Why is the FAFSA so delayed this year?

The Education Department was tasked with implementing a new, simpler FAFSAdue to the FAFSA Simplification Act, but the FAFSA process has been anything but simple thus far.

Indeed, the new FAFSA form has been whittled down to about 36 questions, down from over 100 from previous years. But usually, the FAFSA is released in October. For the 2024-2025 academic year, it didn’t go live until late December 2023. That’s major delay No. 1.

Alongside streamlining the application that families see, there were a slew of behind-the-scenes formula changes, too, including a directive to update the guidelines used to calculate eligibility for financial aid to account for inflation. But the department — already running behind — failed to make that inflation adjustment in a scramble to get the form online by the legally mandated New Year deadline.

Last month, the department decided it was going to fix that mistake before sending financial aid information to colleges, thus causing another setback of approximately two months. That’s major delay No. 2 — the latest delay that’s spurring financial aid and admissions offices to scramble ahead of College Decision Day.

The Education Department says, in its defense, that these delays are due to the fact that it was required to make these major FAFSA changes while also overseeing the implementation of a new income-driven repayment plan for student loans, facilitating the return to loan payments after a three-and-a-half-year pause and developing new student-loan servicer contracts — all without any of the $600 million it requested from Congress to carry out these initiatives.

“We are certainly working under very substantial workload demands created by Congress and without additional resources,” an Education Department official said on a recent call with reporters.

What can students and families do?

Here are a few things prospective students and their families can do while the FAFSA delays play out.

  • Fill out the FAFSA ASAP: If you haven’t already, families should fill out the FAFSA as soon as they can. Yes, there are delays and known glitches. But some aid tied to the FAFSA is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. And because the form this year is new, it’s important to test it out to see if you run into any technical issues.
  • Monitor FAFSA glitches and workarounds: With an overhaul of this scale, glitches are bound to happen. The Education Department keeps a running list of known FAFSA issues, and several of them include helpful workarounds that you should monitor. Note that one major issue plaguing the new FAFSA is that parents who don’t have Social Security numbers can’t contribute to their child’s application. There is no known workaround yet.
  • Don’t give up on aid — or college: While you’re waiting in FAFSA limbo, you could use this time to try to apply for separate merit-based aid and other scholarships to help you pay for college. Avoid taking out private student loans just because you’re unsure of how much federal aid you’re going to receive, and experts especially recommend that you not give up on your college prospects due to your financial concerns. While it might be late, you will eventually get the aid you’re entitled to.
  • Stay in contact with your preferred college: Circumstances are changing by the day as colleges are making adjustments in response to the FAFSA delays. It’s important to try to stay on top of announcements and updates from your preferred colleges. Check for updated financial-aid and admissions deadlines. See if your preferred colleges are making their own financial aid forms. Go in person, if possible, to the financial aid office on your top pick’s campus to ask any lingering questions you may have. Tejada recommends asking for an extension to the decision deadline if your college is not already doing so.

“Speak up and talk to the colleges that have not extended their deadlines because we need to have [adequate time] for students to fully consider all their options,” he says. “This is the first major choice that most students will make in their life. We don’t want to fumble that.”

Hello Hopewell! While I am not originally a Hopewell native, it has been my home for over 12 years. My wife and I have three beautiful children that all play Hopewell sports including baseball and softball. My wife and I are both active in coaching our Children's teams. I am a member of the Hopewell Youth Baseball Board of Directors and you will probably see me out at the fields at least a few days a week. Most recently coaching my youngest sons TBALL team.

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