With the FAFSA waiting game behind them, students and families plan for next steps

High School Seniors Plan for Exciting Next Steps in College and Career as Graduation Nears

With complications in FAFSA federal financial aid largely behind them, Vermont’s high school Class of 2024 may now choose their next school with help from school counselors, financial aid officers, and VSAC 

Vermont Business Magazine Planning for college or training can be stressful, even when the process goes smoothly. And this year, students and families who applied for federal financial aid were stuck in a waiting game that lasted for months.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) updated their student financial aid (FAFSA) forms for the first time since the 1980s. With delays, glitches, and data processing issues, the past six months have not gone well for students, families, schools, or the FSA itself. One of the final challenges, the ability to make updates and corrections to the FAFSA financial aid form, has now been resolved and schools are sending prospective students their financial aid offers.

“Well-meaning people often ask grads, ‘What are your plans after high school?’ Students and families applying for financial aid may now feel more confident answering this question as graduation approaches,” VSAC President and CEO Scott Giles noted. 

With final aid packages in hand, students have the financial picture they need to decode offers, crunch numbers, and understand lending language with help from high school counselors, college financial aid officers, and VSAC. VSAC’s college decision resources for students and families provide additional information to help make decisions about the future.

“Schools are offering financial aid packages, families are making decisions, and VSAC is here to help,” said Giles. With the last hurdles down in the application process, students and families can now run the numbers and work with their schools and advisors. They can breathe a sigh of relief, reflect upon high school accomplishments, and ink their plans for after graduation.”

As students and families work through the planning process for college or training, VSAC financial aid counselors are available to help either virtually or in-person at the VSAC Resource Center in Winooski. Sessions are free of charge; visit the VSAC calendar to sign up. VSAC's toll-free helpline is also available (call 833-802-8722, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm).  

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships, and education loans. VSAC awards millions of dollars in grants and scholarships for Vermont students and administers Vermont’s VT529 savings plan. Find us at www.vsac.org or check out Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Source: WINOOSKI, VT, May 7, 2024 – VSAC

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