You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

With less than two weeks until the typical May 1 commitment deadline, only 34 percent of colleges have started sending financial aid offers to accepted students, according to new survey data from the National Association for Student Financial Aid Advisers (NASFAA); 54 percent had not begun packaging offers at all.

The survey also found that 29 percent of colleges are waiting to receive reprocessed Institutional Student Information Records, or ISIRs, before starting the packaging process. Last week, the Department of Education said it had begun reprocessing the nearly half a million forms affected by various errors and miscalculations, but that it could take several more weeks to finish.

The department has told colleges they can use incorrect ISIRs to package student aid offers if those forms reflect a higher student aid index than the accurate forms, in order to speed up the process. But the NASFAA survey found that only 10 percent will take this option; another 18 percent will process all the ISIRs they receive and then repackage them later.

When asked about the primary factor “creating uncertainty” at their institution, 46 percent of respondents said they were “waiting for more information or guidance” from the education department. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they’ve moved their normal May 1 deadline, and 12 percent said they won’t move it; another 10 percent are still considering.

The poll, sent out early last week, collected 890 responses from institutions across the sector. Forty percent of respondents were from private, nonprofit institutions, though only 2 percent were highly selective, with acceptance rates below 15 percent. Thirty-eight percent were from public university systems, and 12 percent were from minority-serving institutions.