Skip to content

Navigating the FAFSA Delay: Lessons from COVID

José Mallabo February, 7, 2024
As higher education institutions grapple with the aftermath of the FAFSA delay, we find ourselves in familiar territory. It’s eerily reminiscent of spring 2020 when COVID disrupted everything, including enrollment dates. Somehow we found overdrive and moved like tech startups, not colleges. New website sections sprouted to communicate our COVID protocols. What used to be one-to-one communications sent periodically from student affairs transformed into a cavalcade of social media updates.
And virtual admissions events? We hosted them at scale, bringing campus experiences directly to screens everywhere.
COVID taught us a valuable lesson: When change is afoot, over-communicate! We met students where they were—whether it was a Zoom call or an Instagram post—to keep them informed and engaged. Never before or since have the words “Just get it out!” echoed through administration hallways in such a chorus. Sometimes, we even did a 180 on our hybrid or remote models within the same week. Somehow we survived, and maybe—just maybe—it’s prepared us for the Education Department’s latest curveball: the delayed rollout of the new FAFSA.
The Noise of Mass Channels
Now, about those mass communication channels. They're like bustling train stations during Friday rush hour—filled with a cacophony of sounds and people, and an environment that doesn't really lend itself to a private conversation about financing your college education.
The Tranquility of Direct Channels
Think of Admitted Student Experience (ASE) as a private portal or hub where admitted students come to speak with you directly. Here, we communicate with precision, ensuring essential information reaches its intended recipients.
What Can ASE Do for You?
  1. Next Steps: ASE keeps admitted students in the loop. Whether it’s financial aid details or housing forms, we’ve got it covered. No more long emails lost in the abyss.
  2. Customization Magic: Each institution can tailor ASE to fit its needs. Need to address FAFSA delays? No problem! Craft your messages accordingly. See Eastern Michigan University's ASE.
Eastern Michigan University’s ASE Triumph
Eastern Michigan University (EMU) has mastered the ASE spell. EMU's admitted students receive timely updates, ensuring a smooth transition. Financial aid? Check. Housing assignments? Double-check. EMU’s ASE is like a personal concierge service, guiding students through the labyrinth of enrollment deadlines and requirements.

José Mallabo is Vice President of Marketing at StudentBridge but in a prior life served in cabinet positions driving awareness, admissions and enrollment at Morehouse College and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has also held global communications positions at Ebay and LinkedIn.

Leave a Comment