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Montana Western Addresses FAFSA Processing Challenges

May 2, 2024

The University of Montana Western is actively addressing challenges in FAFSA processing to ensure students receive timely financial aid support. Recent updates from the UMW Financial Aid Office and the Department of Education (ED) shed light on ongoing improvements and proactive measures being taken.

Department of Education (ED) Updates:

Upon initiating FAFSA processing around March 15, the ED identified processing calculation errors affecting millions of students nationwide. Montana Western, in line with ED guidelines, has temporarily held back processing these files, awaiting anticipated corrections starting May 1. Various issues, including software delays, have been encountered, impacting FAFSA processing timelines.

Montana Western Financial Aid (FA) Office Updates:

Despite challenges, Montana Western has managed to import some FAFSA results and resolve software issues up to April 30, 2024. However, meticulous review and verification of FAFSA results are ongoing, prioritizing students enrolled in summer courses, students who requested summer work study, and those with clear FAFSA records on file.

Payment Delays and Mitigation Efforts:

Due to these processing complexities, disbursement of funds is expected after May 16. This delay also affects federal financial aid origination and refund issuance. Montana Western’s Business Services Office is actively supporting students in navigating these challenges and recommends proactive engagement to prevent payment issues.

FAFSA Tips for Students and Parents:

Students and parents are advised to file their FAFSA promptly for the 2024-2025 academic year. Reviewing FAFSA results for completeness and submitting necessary corrections to ED is crucial for timely processing. If your FAFSA shows as “completed” please do not call the FA Office as it delays processing of files. FA is working through the files as quickly as possible and will notify students once completed via your UMW email address. Business Services is prepared to collaborate with students on managing financial concerns arising from these delays.

For further information or assistance, students and parents are encouraged to reach out to the Montana Western Financial Aid Office and Business Services Office.