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VIDEO: TCC urging students to finish federal aid applications despite issues with new FAFSA software

The new FAFSA form was rolled out January 1, but has given users several bumps in the road
TCC urging students to finish federal aid applications despite issues with new FAFSA software
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-19 17:36:41-04
  • Video shows how Tallahassee Community College has experienced issues with the new federal student aid application since it's rollout.
  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, was simplified and revamped in 2024, but has experienced several software issues that have delayed processing.
  • Watch now to hear from one TCC student who needs his student aid to be able to commute to class.


The federal student aid application, which most of us know as FAFSA, was revamped for 2024, but it's left more questions than answers for many.

I'm Alberto Camargo, your College Town neighborhood reporter.

I'm finding out how students and faculty at Tallahassee Community College are dealing with the hiccups so far.

After already being delayed months, the new FAFSA form went live in January.

But TCC staff still didn't trust it.

"We actually discouraged students from applying in the initial few weeks when it went live.""

Bill Spiers is the director of student financial services at TCC.

I asked him for an exact number of students who have applied.

He says by this time of year, that number is usually in the thousands.

But due to bugs in the system — not only does the school not know an exact number — Spiers estimates it to be less than one thousand.

"I have never known a new computer system to go up without glitches. And when it's a federal computer system, there's generally more glitches."

"Just because it was different, it kind of caught me off guard, and I didn't get to completely finish it."

Robert Battles is a freshman at TCC who hasn't completed his form.

Robert lives in Quincy and he says if he can't get financial aid, he'll have to put school on pause.

"Just waiting on every single financial aid, just saving it, putting in a bank or something like that so I can buy a car and keep coming to school and stuff like that."

In February, the U.S. Department of Education addressed the issues students and schools have seen.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a written statement:

"We are determined to get this right. We must, and we will."

Spiers says he's confident the new FAFSA form will be simpler in the long-term.

But in the short-term, Spiers thinks the issues will persist for another school year.

"Don't plan on the form going active on October 1 this year either.

Despite the ongoing hiccups, Spiers is still urging students to...

"Apply. If there's one message they need to hear: apply."

TCC will host a FAFSA help day in the Student Union on Thursday to help students like Robert navigate the new form and submit in time for next year.

In College Town, Alberto Camargo, ABC27.