David J. Socolow, executive director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, recently sent a letter to educational agency leads and nonpublic school administrators, informing them about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process.

High school seniors can make better informed decisions about their futures by completing the FAFSA, he said.

He noted that this year, the FAFSA process opens later than usual (Dec. 31, rather than Oct. 1). “Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education is delaying the transmission of students’ information to state agencies and higher education institutions – potentially for four to six weeks, rather than prior years’ typical lag of just a few days after the student completes the application,” he wrote.

He continued, “In light of these delays, we urge your school’s counselors to encourage 12th grade students to fill out their FAFSA as soon as possible to avoid any uncertainty over the levels of financial aid for which they may be eligible to receive in the 2024-2025 academic year.”

The outreach team at the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority is available to help students and their families understand how to fill out the FAFSA, he noted. It also has information for students and families on this webpage.

Read the full letter.