Financial Aid

2024-25 Aid Awarding

The 2024-25 financial aid award year is turning out to be like no other. With the FAFSA Simplification rewrite and unexpected changes to timeframes, the aid award process for 2024-25 has been substantially delayed.

This page is dedicated to keeping you current on where UC is regarding the 2024-25 aid process that begins with fall 2024. Summer 2024 is part of the 2023-24 academic year.

Information will be updated as UC is aware of new information from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and can provide families with more complete timeframes for the delivery of 2024-25 financial aid award offers. All information is subject to change.

NOTE: UC has extended the fall 2024 confirmation deadline for Uptown first-year students from May 1, 2024, to June 1, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST due to delays described on this page. 

We know the changes and delays are difficult. Students and families need aid award information to make decisions on college choice and to budget for the upcoming year. We hope that, by providing current information in this time of change, we can lessen some anxiety and give you updated guidance as you prepare for the next school year.

The awarding process involves 3 key steps: applying, processing by school systems, and award offer delivery. Each step, in reverse order, is listed below with applicable updates.

Award Offers

Following processing of FAFSAs by ED and UC system testing, UC will be making 2024-25 award offers to students. The most up-to-date information is noted below.

Key updates to UC delivery of award offers.
Date Update
3/11/24 The University of Cincinnati has extended the fall 2024 confirmation deadline for Uptown first-year students from May 1, 2024, to June 1, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST to accommodate ED processing delays impacting FAFSA information being provided to colleges and universities across the country. 

UC again adjusts anticipated 2024-25 timeframes for awards based on ED announcement on the delay of FAFSA data to schools until mid-March.

  - Awards are now anticipated to begin in April.

  - More details to follow once FAFSA data is released to schools.

Please be assured that we will start issuing aid offers as soon as we are able.

12/15/23 With knowledge that 2024-25 FAFSA data would be released to schools no sooner than late January, UC begins adjusting 2024-25 award timelines.

Award offers for new students are created once a student has been offered admission and we have FAFSA data on file. Awards for returning students are based on received FAFSA data and the completion of any additional tasks related to the FAFSA.

System Testing

Following FAFSA processing by ED and before award offers can be made, UC (and other schools) must test their own computer systems. This process can take around 4 weeks to fully test file layouts and award accuracy particularly with the number of changes in the 2024-25 FAFSA. UC plans to have speedy yet quality testing of our systems to deliver accurate and complete award offers.

Key updates to UC testing of systems.
Date Update
3/29/24 The Department acknowledged that it is aware of reported issues from financial aid offices concerning tax data on some processed FAFSAs and is investigating those potential errors.
3/4/24 ED notified schools and vendors that student FAFSA data, when released, will happen in order of FAFSA submission date and will initially be small (1-2 records to a school per day) as they test the delivery system to schools. Following this phase of ED testing, larger files would be made to schools that could then begin their award testing. 
2/27/24 ED announced the impending release of 100 test records to schools.
2/16/24 The Department released 8 test versions of student FAFSA records to schools and critical partners to assist with system preparation. 
1/30/24 ED acknowledged the need for schools and software providers to receive additional test records but has not provided an expected release date.
January 2024 UC began limited testing of systems as we await 2024-25 FAFSA information from the Department of Education. 

FAFSA Processing

Financial aid awarding begins with the submission of the FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). That information is processed to determine a Student Aid Index (SAI) and conduct matches to assess aid eligibility. The 2024-25 FAFSA is unique in that it is being built from the ground up to create a new application and processing system in line with the FAFSA Simplification Act.

The multi-step rollout of the FAFSA must occur by the Department prior to releasing data to schools. Unfortunately, this process continues to see delays that affect students, families, and schools in preparing for 2024-25.

Students who have not filed a 2024-25 FAFSA should do so now. Until FAFSA data is released to schools, questions about your submitted FAFSA should be directed to the federal processing system at 1-800-4FED-AID.

Updates will continue to be shared as they are known to provide increased transparency to families.

Key updates related to the FAFSA and its processing.
Date Update
4/16/24 ED provided stakeholders with an updated resource to help students and contributors make corrections to their 2024-25 FAFSA form
4/15/24 In addition to FAFSA corrections now available for student and contributors, the Department restated that reprocessing of FAFSAs with ED-identified errors other than with IRS data will begin later this week, and IRS data error reprocessing is scheduled to begin May 1.
4/12/24 Student corrections showed some difficulties with student assets dropping off, manual tax data or contributor assets not being correctable, or FAFSA display issues in some cases.
4/9/24 Making student corrections broadly available "early next week" was shared in an announcement that the Department would communicate publicly to families once corrections, additions, or changes to existing 2024-25 FAFSAs are available at Reprocessing of FAFSAs with ED-identified calculation issues is expected the week of April 15th and ED-identified tax issues the week of May 1st.
4/4/24 ED shared all applicants who previously had challenges inviting their non-SSN contributor to their FAFSA may now do so without issue by following updated instructions.
4/1/24 The Department identified 3 issues with tax data on FAFSAs and will reprocess affected FAFSAs when functionality is available in the first half of April.
3/25/24 ED announced that student updates and corrections to submitted FAFSAs will become available "the first half of April." Reprocessing of FAFSAs processed in error prior to 3/21/24 also to be done shortly after student corrections become available.
3/22/24 ED alerted schools that approximately 200,000 FAFSA records released to schools were processed with calculation errors and will need to be reprocessed. No further details on timeline for reprocessing.
3/14/24 The Department made technical updates to now allow FAFSA completion where a parent or spouse contributor does not have an SSN.
3/12/24 The FAFSA Submission Summary will now be available to students who have had their FAFSA processed when they log in to their account. As ED processes the backlog of FAFSAs, applicants will receive an email updating them on the availability of their FAFSA Submission Summary. 
3/1/24 The Extension of Continuing Appropriations and Other Matters Act, 2024, passed to avoid a partial government shutdown, updated SAI calculations to reset the allowance threshold for negative income earned by dependent students.
2/20/24 ED announced that it will, in “the first half of March,” provide a permanent fix for FAFSA applicants who have been unable to complete and submit their forms because one or more of their required contributors do not have Social Security numbers. Student may also use a temporary solution until that time.
2/13/24 The Department of Education announced it will significantly reduce verification requirements for students and families, while continuing key measures focused on avoiding identity fraud. With the implementation of the IRS direct data exchange, the Department is receiving the vast majority of income data directly from the IRS, which would not need to be further verified.
1/30/24 The Department informed the financial aid community that 2024-25 FAFSA data will now be delayed until "the first half of March," further delaying an already sluggish rollout. ED clarifies that FAFSA processing would occur in March, and student corrections to submitted FAFSA data would also be unavailable until that time. 
1/23/24 ED announced they will update tables used to protect family incomes and assets from being considered as part of the SAI by inflation-adjusted amounts.
1/9/24  The FAFSA became available 24/7 with occasional outages for updates when needed.
1/2/24  The online FAFSA became open for wider windows during standard office hours.
12/30/23  The Department opened the 2024-25 FAFSA within limited windows during their soft launch. Any corrections to submitted FAFSAs would be delayed until the end of January 2024.
12/15/23  ED provided an update that the 2024-25 FAFSA would begin a soft launch at the end of December 2023. The ability for students to correct submitted FAFSAs and schools to receive FAFSA data would not be available until the end of January 2024.
3/21/23 ED announced the 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available October 1, 2023, but instead will be available December 2023. 

NOTE: While the general outline of the 2024-25 FAFSA rollout is detailed above, we and the Department are aware that some students in unique situations continue to have difficulty when completing the FAFSA process. At the same time, the ability to create and validate FSA IDs needed to complete a FAFSA for parents and spouses without SSNs has been updated.

Please call 1-800-4-FED-AID for assistance if you continue to have issues submitting a FAFSA.