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FAFSA Distribution to Resume Oct. 20; Printing Problem Will NOT Affect Student Aid Delivery

PublicationDate: 10/19/99
Summary: FAFSA Distribution to Resume Oct. 20; Printing Problem Will NOT Affect Student Aid Delivery
Author: COO - Chief Operating Officer of the Office of Student Financial Assistance


Posted Tuesday, October 19, 1999

FAFSA Distribution to Resume Oct. 20;
Printing Problem Will NOT Affect Student Aid Delivery

Distribution of the 2000-2001 FAFSA will resume tomorrow, October 20, 1999, after it was temporarily halted on October 15. As announced here yesterday, Student Financial Assistance on Friday “stopped the presses” after partners in the financial aid community caught two errors in IRS tax references. The corrected form now is being printed and shipments via UPS will begin tomorrow.

We know the FAFSA now is correct because we tested it on our customers—student interns rounded up here at SFA HQ yesterday. They were given sample info, completed the form, and gave it a thumbs up.

“The lesson here,” said Greg Woods, Chief Operating Officer, “is always test your product on your customer.”

East Coast schools generally receive their FAFSAs within two days. Shipments to the West Coast normally take six days, but we will expedite delivery using two-day UPS Express.

News reports indicating the problem will delay delivery of student aid are NOT correct. We’re early in the process of printing and delivery. Students normally begin receiving the form in October so they can begin gathering the information they need to complete their form for aid next year. They cannot, however, submit the completed FAFSA before January 1, 2000.

SFA is in the process of retrieving about 100,000 “bad” forms distributed to 61 smaller institutions around the country. All of these schools have been contacted and have been alerted to the problem. Many had not yet received their shipments and have been advised to refuse delivery or set them aside to be shipped back.

The chances of a “bad” form slipping through the cracks, getting in the hands of a student, and being submitted are small. Should that happen, SFA will know it’s a “bad” form when it arrives—the P.O. Box was changed for the new, corrected FAFSA. Any “bad” forms will go to the old P.O. Box and get special processing to make sure no student is hurt by this problem.

“I feel terrible about this,” Woods said. “I’m proud, however, of our response. Our people put the customer first, literally stopping the presses, and turning trucks around.”

Again, thank you to our partners in the financial aid community—for your diligence and patience.

Last Modified: 10/18/1999