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2024-25 FAFSA Tips and Guidance

February 13, 2024

The University of Montana Western Financial Aid Department would like to share helpful tips and information with the community on submitting the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Colleges and career schools use the FAFSA form to determine how much financial aid incoming and returning college students are eligible to receive each academic year, which could include grants, scholarships, work-study funds, and loans.

Due to the recent changes by the Department of Education to the FAFSA form, please find below some helpful information regarding the 2024-25 application and award notification timeline.

FAFSA Results for Colleges

Colleges and universities will not receive FAFSA results from the Department of Education until the first half of March 2024. Consequently, there will be a delay in award notifications to students and families. It’s advisable to check the website of your college choice for expected processing dates. Colleges will receive thousands of FAFSA results at once, leading to a peak processing time and longer wait times for award notifications. Additionally, colleges are implementing updates to federal and institutional software in response to FAFSA changes starting in 2024-2025, which may further contribute to processing delays.

FAFSA Submission Tips

Students should complete and submit the FAFSA as early as possible. Although the Department of Education will receive your FAFSA, eligibility processing and result submission to families and colleges will not occur until the first half of March 2024. Keep in mind that corrections cannot be made until you receive the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) in March 2024.

Colleges will also receive results known as Institutional Student Information Records (ISIR) at the same time. Financial aid offices will diligently work through these ISIRs once received. Regularly check your emails for notifications from your college’s financial aid office, as this is the primary mode of communication.

Submit official transcripts from your high school and any colleges attended (including dual high school enrollment) to your college’s admissions office as soon as possible to avoid delays in financial aid processing. For those applying for private scholarships requiring financial aid information, contact the organizations to inquire about extended deadlines or alternative documentation acceptance until your college completes your award notification.

For more information from the Department of Education, visit:

If you have questions or need FAFSA completion assistance, regardless of where you plan to attend college, please feel free to stop by the Financial Aid Office in the Short Administration Building on the UMW campus, call 406-683-7511, or email [email protected] and we would be glad to assist you.