© 2024 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.
RADIO SERVICE NOTE: Listeners may experience broadcast issues due to system upgrades.

UNE is extending a key admissions deadline because of federal financial aid delays

This Nov. 14, 2014, photo, shows Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., holding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, during an interview on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta
/
AP file
This Nov. 14, 2014, photo, shows Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., holding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, during an interview on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The University of New England in Biddeford is delaying a key admissions deadline because of nationwide issues with the federal financial aid application process known as FAFSA.

The FAFSA form is typically made available for students in October. But this year, it was delayed nearly three months, as the federal government is streamlining the form.

Scott Steinberg, the vice president of admissions at UNE, said his office isn't expecting to receive individual student records from the federal government until March, meaning that it likely won't have financial aid packages available to prospective students until April.

With those delays, Steinberg said the college is giving students an extra month to submit an enrollment deposit to hold their spot for the fall. Students will now have until June 1 to submit a deposit.

"So we're concerned, particularly for first-generation to college students, and those students who need federal student assistance in order to attend college," Steinberg said. "We want to encourage them to first, fill out the FAFSA, and then give them a little more time to decide."

St. Joseph's College in Standish is also extending out its deposit deadline to June 1 because of the FAFSA delays. Spokesperson Oliver Griswold said meanwhile, the school is still working to "provide prospective students with a completed estimated financial aid package" of Pell grants, merit scholarships, federal loans and other college grants.

"We don't want anyone to feel more lost in this process than they already do," Griswold said. 

University of Maine System spokesperson Samantha Warren said the system continues to "evaluate what prospective students and their families need to support their planning for Fall 2024 admission and attendance, and are committed to doing everything we possibly can to ensure this delay does not deter students from their pursuit of postsecondary education and social mobility."

Michael Fox, the vice president for enrollment management at Bangor's Husson University, said his school is communicating more with prospective students to help them understand this year's changes to the process.

But he said the school has always provided flexibility to students, including offering orientation sessions into August if a student submits a deposit in the summer.

"So we've always been flexible and willing to work with those students one on one, if they come to the process late, or make their decisions later in their college search process. So that won't be any different for us this year," Fox said.

According to data compiled by the National College Attainment Network, about 3,600 high school seniors in Maine had submitted a FAFSA as of Feb. 2. That's similar to nationwide figures showing a 49% decline in submissions.