Navigating FAFSA Delays


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial tool in securing financial assistance for higher education. This year, students are facing unexpected hurdles after the federal government announced delays in the process. Most recently, the government announced there will be delays in the transmission of final Student Aid Index (SAI) data. These delays pose challenges for those relying on financial assistance to pursue higher education, including local students who are applying for scholarships through the Community Foundation as SAI data is part of our application process. 


Stacy Timmerman, Director of Scholarships, has two suggestions for students to navigate these challenges successfully. 

Apply Now: Gather all necessary documents required for the FAFSA and the CFHZ scholarship application and apply without delay. The firm deadline for the CFHZ scholarship application remains 5pm on Friday, March 1. 

Stay Updated: Keep a close watch on official announcements from the U.S. Department of Education regarding any changes in timeline for SAI availability. After you have applied for CFHZ scholarships, watch the CFHZ website and your email inbox for any changes to our timeline that may become necessary. 


MARCH 1 at 5PM: Deadline for submitting the CFHZ general scholarship application and documentation of the estimated SAI. Before our March 1 application deadline, students who have filed the FAFSA and are experiencing issues not related to the government’s delay should email or for assistance. 

MARCH 15 at 5PM: Students must update CFHZ with their final SAI by emailing the single page of the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) with the SAI on it to We will notify applicants if we need to extend this date due to further governmental delays. It is important to us that applicants with financial need receive proper consideration for CFHZ scholarships. 

MAY 1: We anticipate it will take us longer than usual to vet financial need this year due to the governmental delays in issuing SAIs. Therefore, we also anticipate it will take us longer to notify students regarding our scholarship competition results. Our goal remains to notify students before May 1.