California Extends Student Financial Aid Application Deadline Amid Glitches in System

California Extends Student Financial Aid Application Deadline Amid Glitches in System

People walk on the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) campus in Long Beach, Calif., on Aug. 11, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

3/29/2024

Updated: 4/2/2024

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation that extends the deadline for students applying for state financial aid from April 1 to May 2.
The governor approved Assembly Bill 1887 on March 25, and it went into effect immediately.
“Making the path to fulfilling our students’ dreams of achieving higher education more affordable and accessible is among the highest duties of our state government, and Assembly Bill 1887 being signed into law is a way to honor that duty,” said Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, who introduced the bill, in a March 25 statement.
“This new law will give California students more time to complete the FAFSA and gain access to the financial resources they need to begin their college careers in earnest.”
The bill comes as students have complained about an issue with the application website that prevents them from applying for federal aid if their parents lack a Social Security number—an issue that has only just arisen this year.
The glitch is one of several problems applicants have encountered since last year’s revamp of the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
In a March 14 update, the U.S. Education Department said it has fixed some of the issues, and made technical updates that now enable some students whose parents have no Social Security numbers to submit the form.
However, it warned that some students in this scenario may still have trouble submitting.
“The department is aware of these issues and is working on resolutions,” department officials said.
About 2 percent of applicants faced this issue in 2024, according to department officials.
Last year, about 100,000 students submitted applications without their parents’ Social Security number, statewide news outlet CalMatters reported.
In a March 7 Senate subcommittee, college officials urged the Legislature to support the extension.
“The Legislature can highlight, double down on how unacceptable it is that certain U.S. citizens cannot submit a FAFSA,” said Gina Browne, a senior official with the California Community Colleges system, at a recent Senate hearing, “and I’m personally offended by it.”
Representatives for the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) also expressed support for the bill.
“We think that extending the state financial aid deadline is worth considering because it allows the U.S. Department of Education more time to resolve these technical difficulties,” stated LAO policy analyst Lisa Qing.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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