Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Science teacher Paige Lundquist leads her third period Honors Biology class on May 10.
D203 Board of Education approves major changes to science course pathway
Nolan Shen, Arts & Entertainment Editor • May 23, 2024
One of the photos taken by senior Tomi Bounphisai of R41N during this years Centrals Got Talent show.
Senior snaps singing, dancing and prom: “I just enjoy watching their vision come alive”
Selah Lee, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Sophomores Lilly Jia (far left) and Audrey Cheng (left) instruct competitors at Clover Math’s elementary and middle school math competition, hosted at Central on April 26. Clover Math is an organization founded by four District 203 juniors.
Student-led math organization hosts competition
C.J. Getting, Operations Managing Editor • May 21, 2024
From left to right, Robert Zoellick, Dr. Catherine Adrian DeRidder, Matt DiCianni and Ben Hutchison pose after becoming Central’s newest Distinguished Alumni at a ceremony on May 3.
Central inducts four new distinguished alumni in 25th annual ceremony
C.J. Getting, Operations Managing Editor • May 20, 2024
View All
Support Us
$50
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Central Times by helping to fund their monthly print issues.

Recent Tweets
Instagram posts
Weather Central


  • 9 PM
    59 °
  • 10 PM
    58 °
  • 11 PM
    56 °
  • 12 AM
    55 °
  • 1 AM
    54 °
  • 2 AM
    53 °
  • 3 AM
    52 °
  • 4 AM
    51 °
  • 5 AM
    51 °
  • 6 AM
    52 °
  • 7 AM
    55 °
  • 8 AM
    57 °
  • 9 AM
    60 °
  • 10 AM
    62 °
  • 11 AM
    64 °
  • 12 PM
    66 °
  • 1 PM
    66 °
  • 2 PM
    66 °
  • 3 PM
    66 °
  • 4 PM
    65 °
  • 5 PM
    64 °
  • 6 PM
    62 °
  • 7 PM
    59 °
  • 8 PM
    57 °
  • 9 PM
    55 °
May 27
68°/ 54°
Patchy rain nearby
May 28
67°/ 51°
Moderate rain
May 29
68°/ 48°
Partly Cloudy

FAFSA delays lead to confusion, delays for college-bound seniors

FAFSA+delays+lead+to+confusion%2C+delays+for+college-bound+seniors
Kathryn Prerost

Websites crashing. Last minute editing. Waiting months for a decision. The college application process is already stressful enough for most seniors. For the class of 2024, though, that process was made a whole lot more stressful by a delay in the processing of the FAFSA this year. With the delay, many seniors were thrown into uncertainty regarding their futures. 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is an application that students fill out to be considered for federal student aid when applying to colleges. Managed by the office of Federal Student Aid, a part U.S. Department of Education, the form allows students to receive grants, apply for loans and work study funds. Colleges often use this application to determine what financial aid they give students as well.

Because of concerns that the previous form was taking too much time, the form was adjusted as a part of the 2023 FAFSA Simplification Act. According to Studentaid.gov, the new form changed the formula for calculating if and how much aid a family will receive, expanded the access of who can apply for aid and removed qualifying questions such as race or previous drug convictions. 

“I definitely liked the fact that it was [easier] because I also filled out the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS Profile) [run by the CollegeBoard,] [and] that one was really, really tedious to fill out,” senior Connie Chen said. Although the average family income of Naperville residents may be higher than other places, college is still an expensive investment.

“[The delays are] still impacting many of our students,” Corder said. “Not [just] our students who might be low income students, but even students who are in the middle class who might not be qualifying for grant money because they still don’t have their financial aid award packages.” 

According to Corder, many students are still filling out the form. Many of those who already have filled it out are still awaiting decisions. 

“[Students] don’t know if they’re going to qualify for money because they changed the formula for the FAFSA,” Corder said. “Families that [previously] didn’t qualify for money will qualify for money now.” 

Many seniors are left in the dark about their futures because of this new change. 

“The financial picture is very, very fuzzy for those students and you want to make sure that you’re making a good financial decision for your future education,” Corder said. “And they’re unable to do that with the knowledge of what they might or might not have in terms of financial aid.” 

The delays have significantly pushed back Corder’s schedule. 

“Normally, during this time of year, I would be meeting with students and reviewing financial aid award letters, but I haven’t done that one single time this year, which is just crazy,” Corder said.  

According to Corder, many colleges have just received the information for financial aid packages. However, much of the FAFSA information collected was incorrect, and the form frequently crashed or glitched for users. Because of this, many colleges have changed their enrollment deadlines. 

“I was checking in like every week to see if [FAFSA information] was available, but it wasn’t,” senior Vittoria Gallina said. “Even now, it says [it’s] processed, but none of my colleges have actually gotten it, so I’m still waiting on the financial data and it’s preventing me from making a good choice.”

May 1. was always the traditional deadline for college commitments. However, the FAFSA delays leave students unable to make a decision in time for this deadline. This year, many colleges have decided to push back the commitment day to May 15. Or June 1.

Chen applied to a number of schools including UW-Madison, UC Berkeley, and CU Boulder. UW-Madison and UC Berkeley pushed back their commitment dates to May 15. CU Boulder pushed back the deadline to June 1. Chen has not committed yet because of the delayed financial aid packages. 

“I don’t mind so much that we’re kind of like the guinea pigs for this new form, but it is just annoying that everything is messed up,” Chen said. 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Elaine Zhou
Elaine Zhou, Features Editor
Elaine Zhou is a junior, and this is her second year with Central Times. Elaine is a lover of all types of writing- especially ones telling the stories of people around her. Along with being a student journalist, she is the vice president of Chinese Club, a staff of Literary Magazine, a member of Yearbook and a violinist. She is currently addicted to retail therapy, stationary and is gaslighting herself to like biology for the rest of her life. 
Kathryn Prerost
Kathryn Prerost, Multimedia Editor
Kathryn Prerost is a senior, and is entering her first year on the Central Times staff as the multimedia manager. She loves music and theatre, and really enjoys going down rabbit holes about any topic that makes you think. You’ll mostly find her writing opinion pieces about niche topics, or talking about the newest pop culture moments in media. When she’s not in the Central Times office, she loves to arrange music, video edit and is always working on a new art project to decorate her room with.
Donate to Central Times
$50
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Central Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *