Errors stemming from updates on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process have the potential to delay school funding for the about 20,000 Lone Star College students who rely on it, college system leaders said.

What’s happening

High rejection rates on the Institutional Student Information Records have slowed the financial aid process, said Gerald F. Napoles, LSC vice chancellor of student success, in an April 11 email. According to the Federal Student Aid office website:Typically, LSC would have notified students on their financial aid beginning March 7, Napoles said.

“This data reprocessing requirement contributes to extensive delays, affecting timely aid awarding and dissemination of award notifications to students and their families,” Napoles said via the email. “These system limitations have resulted in the need for significant updates and patches, further delaying the financial aid packaging process.”

In the fall of 2023, about 20,000 LSC students received financial aid, Napoles said.

What they’re saying

During LSC’s board of trustees’ April 4 meeting, LSC Chancellor Mario Castillo said he will ask the board to dip into reserve funds to help students who experience financial aid loss due to the FAFSA error, if necessary.

“We will not lose any students because of the Department of Education's behavior,” Castillo said. “We are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that our most vulnerable students who are dependent on financial aid do not have to drop out, skip school or anything like that.”