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### Minimizing Anxiety: College Application Season Strains Due to FAFSA Processing Delays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – The deadline for submitting the FAFSA in Kansas and Missouri is fast approaching on Monday. This year, numerous students are facing setbacks due to ongoing delays.

The lead college and career coordinator at Washington High School, Curtissia Verge, expressed how the prolonged delays have disrupted their schedule, causing added stress. She mentioned, “It’s been a little bit more stressful for all the lead college and career coordinators because it put a damper in our calendar schedule.”

Traditionally, at this time of year, high school seniors at Washington High School in KCK are filled with anticipation for graduation. However, the current atmosphere is one of anxiety and uncertainty regarding their financial ability to pursue higher education.

With the clock ticking on college decisions, the delays in processing FAFSA applications have put students at a disadvantage, especially affecting undocumented students. Verge highlighted this concern, stating, “Our biggest concern is our undocumented students because they couldn’t do anything with the FAFSA until as of within the last two weeks, so that’s been the most stressful part.”

Typically, college coordinators like Verge plan their schedules around October 1 when FAFSA applications open. This year, the opening was delayed by nearly three months, leaving minimal margin for error and limited time for adjustments.

High school senior Amia Dupree shared the challenges students are facing, noting, “This process has just been difficult to get through for a bunch of students because we don’t know how much we’ll get from the federal government to attend college.”

Breanna Neal, another senior, faced unique hurdles during the process due to her parents’ adoption status, which complicated their tax filings. Despite the uncertainties, Neal remains optimistic about her college prospects, stating, “It’s kind of nerve-wracking but I feel confident that I’ll get there and it’ll be okay in the end.”

The school acknowledged the additional hurdles faced by undocumented students, especially in cases where parents are undocumented. Verge explained, “If the student is documented but the parent is not, the form is available for them but the hiccup was the FAFSA system had not been created for parents to go in and do their verification process so those kinks were just worked out recently.”

As the situation remains unpredictable, college advisors are prepared for potential deadline changes amidst the evolving circumstances.

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