Navigating the New FAFSA in 2024

Feb 27, 2024

Need-to-Know for Star Scholarship Applicants

WWIN has been closely watching the challenging rollout of the new “Better FAFSA” form for 2024-25. We recognize that delays in the financial aid process affect students who need to make decisions about whether and where they can afford to attend school — especially students with limited financial resources who already face disproportionate barriers to higher education. 

Fortunately, WWIN’s application season is designed for flexibility, and we expect there will be minimal impact on our process:

  • WWIN accepts financial aid award letters submitted after our April 18 application deadline. The financial aid award letter is only one piece of the supporting documentation required to award a Star Scholarship, and it may be submitted by email once it is received from the school. Even in typical years, this process often extends beyond the April deadline.
  • An application awaiting a financial aid award letter will simply be marked as “pending” until it is received.Applicants who pass initial screening based on their alignment with WWIN’s vision, mission and values will advance to the financial need calculation stage. At this stage, the letter is required, and the application will remain on hold until the award letter is received.
  • To be eligible for a Star Scholarship, applicants must be accepted to an approved Washington college or university, but they are not required to have committed to a particular school. Applicants are free to select another institution or transfer at any time to another college or university based on their financial aid results or for any other reason.

Despite the challenging rollout, we are hearing some positive reports from students about the simplified FAFSA application, such as: easier to fill out, fewer questions, greater transparency, increased Pell eligibility, improved flexibility for students with unusual circumstances and the addition of an inflation calculation.

WWIN will continue to monitor the situation, remain in conversation with our applicants and make adjustments as needed to ensure a smooth process for prospective Scholars.

Reminder: Star Scholarship applications are open through April 18 for academic year 2024-25. Our team is available to provide more information and answer questions during our virtual office hours, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm every Thursday.

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