April 4, 2024

Senator Schmitt Demands Answers from the Dept. of Education on Delays in Processing Student Loan Applications

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona regarding the Department’s delays in approving student loan applications and its failure to properly implement the FAFSA Simplification Act:

“Despite plenty of time and adequate funding, the Department of Education failed to properly implement the new FAFSA. Though the FAFSA Simplification Act passed in 2020, the form was not available for prospective students until December 2023, delaying the financial aid process. Colleges and universities did not begin to receive student data from completed applications until the end of March 2024, delaying the process further. Now, students are not expected to receive financial aid letters until April or even May. This is well past many universities’ decision timelines and most final decisions are required before mid-May,” the letter reads.

“The Department of Education has pushed unnecessary and legally dubious loan bailout initiatives, while also failing to prioritize existing obligations with established student aid programs. Even more concerning, the Department has prioritized the applications of families with illegal aliens, devising ‘workarounds’ and loopholes to allow these applications to be submitted. Based on all accounts, working families depending on FAFSA determinations are at the back of the queue in your Department. The Department needs to refocus its efforts and prioritize the FAFSA process to ensure students’ education is not jeopardized,” the letter continues.  


  • Specifically, Senator Schmitt asked Secretary Cardona to provide the following:
    • A comprehensive timeline of the FAFSA paper applications’ processing times, including the updated status of the application from the initial submission to the eventual determination of eligibility and how the applicant is notified throughout the process.
    • What steps the Department of Education has taken to resolve the complications with the implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act.
    • How the Department of Education keeps students informed with the most updated information on how to complete the new FAFSA.
  • Constituents have been reaching out to Senator Schmitt’s Office for weeks regarding these issues.
  • Missouri State University pushed back their financial aid deadline because of issues with the FASFA.
  • Read the full letter attached.