When the Flames Go Up
When the Flames Go Up
Episode 32: "FAFSA's 1.8 billion mistakes"
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Episode 32: "FAFSA's 1.8 billion mistakes"

Parents of college students fill out the FAFSA form whether or not they're seeking financial aid. But delays and miscalculations show how well the Department of Education moves slow and breaks things.
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FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and given all the problems with rolling out its update, another f-word is conspicuously missing. Determining financial aid is intricately interwoven into the admissions calendar, but yesterday’s news that FAFSA data won’t be available until mid-March—which we learned after we recorded this episode—means a lot of admissions decisions will be made with far less information than usual.

The site’s availability was already pushed back almost three months because of the FAFSA Simplification Act (HAHAHAHAHA!). But now the DoE has to clean up a big accounting boo-boo, which would have reduced the amount of awarded financial aid by 1.8 billion dollars.

Thanks for listening to When the Flames Go Up! Please consider a paid subscription to support our writing and podcasting and wrestling with federal bureaucracy.

Many listeners have contacted us about how to cope with this pervasive mess, so we’re starting a forum about it in our Facebook group. Since it’s so hard to find definitive answers—even from admissions professionals who are just as perplexed as we are—we’re building a repository of shared information to help us all row through these choppy waters. We hope it will be a way to stay current, to relay good and bad experiences, and to commiserate when the next thing goes sideways.

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When the Flames Go Up
When the Flames Go Up
After we divorced, we started a blog about co-parenting to learn how to work together until our kids were grown. And now that they are, and the world is so busy disrupting and disavowing what we thought we were working for, we're looking to our community to help us all keep up.