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Amid FAFSA issues, the Education Department is accused of “malicious negligence.”

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The U.S. Department of Education is under heavy criticism as issues with the recently implemented Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) continue to arise.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and other senior officials accusing the department of “malicious negligence.”

Johnson, who is currently a candidate for Congress and was the chief operational officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid from 2017 to 2019, criticized the department in the letter for how they handled the ongoing FAFSA issues, labeling its crisis management strategy as “extraordinarily irresponsible.”

Johnson further emphasized that the Education Department officials are individually and collectively accountable for the harm that the FAFSA issues have caused to students and schools.

A department spokesman refuted Johnson’s assertions, saying that no modifications that he now opposes were effectively executed during Johnson’s tenure.

The Education Department also emphasized the major hurdles presented by the new criteria in the absence of extra funding or resources, as well as the comprehensive revamp required under the FAFSA Simplification Act.

A number of Republican lawmakers have demanded a federal investigation into the FAFSA implementation in addition to internal examination, raising concerns about whether students were given enough information about the new application procedure.

As this year’s applicant pool shrinks, worries are growing and the need to fix the FAFSA’s technical issues is becoming more pressing.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ president, Justin Draeger, stressed the urgent need for the Education Department to achieve its deadlines and threatened dire repercussions if there are any further delays.

Uncertainty regarding financial aid puts decisions about college in jeopardy for a lot of kids and families, especially first-generation applicants like those from Hammond, Indiana.

Due to delays, institutions are forced to rely on their own estimates for aid packages, which increases the possibility of making offers that aren’t accepted. This could lead to incorrect payments and the disenfranchisement of sizable student populations.

Furthermore, the impending drop in college enrollment—which is evocative of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic—highlights the crucial role that federal student financial aid plays in encouraging participation in higher education.

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