The Impact of FAFSA Delays on 2024 Enrollment

FAFSA Delays Double Student Indecision

Unprecedented delays to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) have left many colleges wondering where enrollment truly stands after May 1. This phenomenon is equally troubling for prospective students.

Each year, after May 1, Carnegie surveys graduating seniors from its CollegeXpress audience. This year, a new section was added to focus on the impact of FAFSA delays. This report covers that section and provides important insights into how students are thinking about FAFSA and financial aid in general.

The Impact of FAFSA Delays on 2024 Enrollment

Beyond just the doubling of indecision, which mirrors the levels seen during 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, this report examines FAFSA submission timings, student frustrations, and the delay’s impact on decision-making. This survey was in field May 6-12 and received over 3,000 responses.

Key Insights:

  • One in five respondents said the FAFSA delays were the most critical news they watched for in the past few months.
  • More than half say the delays made at least a slight difference in their enrollment decision.
  • One in nine students still has not committed to a college despite being certain they will attend in the fall.

Download the report.