Top 5 Things to Do While You Wait for the ISIRs: A Guide to Coping with FAFSA Delays

Amy Jenkins
February 26, 2024

As if the first set of FAFSA delays wasn’t bad enough, the days after Dec 31 we found ourselves waiting for the FAFSA to actually work followed by waiting for ISIRs to come.  Only to find out they weren’t coming yet.

With March almost here we are all holding onto the words “first half of March” and hoping that doesn’t mean March 15th, especially since there are, after all, 31 days in March.  So to help you resist the urge to refresh your inbox obsessively, here are 5 things you can do to pass the time:

1. Master the Art of Yoga...or at Least Try: As you anxiously await the arrival of the ISIRs, why not indulge in some stress-relieving yoga poses? Sure, downward dog might not magically summon those financial aid documents, but it can certainly help you find your zen amidst the chaos. Who knows, maybe you'll discover a newfound flexibility that will come in handy when navigating those tricky financial aid regulations.

2. Email Prospective Students with an Update on FAFSA Timing: While you're waiting, remember students are waiting too.  Take the opportunity to reach out to prospective students and their families. Keep them in the loop about the FAFSA timeline and reassure them that help is on the way. A little communication can go a long way in easing their concerns and building trust in your institution's financial aid process.

3. Communicate Implications of Delayed ISIRs: Use the waiting period to ensure that other campus leaders understand the potential implications of delayed ISIRs on financial aid disbursement and student services. Host informational sessions or provide written communication outlining the impact of delayed ISIRs on the financial aid packaging timeline, student enrollment, and institutional revenue. Collaborate with admissions, student services, and academic departments to develop contingency plans and streamline processes to mitigate any disruptions caused by delayed ISIRs. Keeping all stakeholders informed and aligned will facilitate smoother operations and better support for students during the financial aid process.

4. Use Your Net Price Calculator to Give Students Estimates: While you wait for the official ISIRs to roll in, leverage your net price calculator to provide students with estimated financial aid packages. This proactive approach can help manage expectations and give students a clearer picture of their potential financial aid eligibility, easing some of the uncertainty while they await the official verdict.  Feel super confident in your NPC like Colorado Mesa does with Meadow?  You can even use your NPC to do packaging!

5. Practice Self-Care: Last but certainly not least, don't forget to take care of yourself. In the whirlwind of financial aid season, it's easy to neglect your own well-being. Take breaks, indulge in your favorite hobbies, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup, so prioritize self-care and recharge your batteries for the challenges ahead.

Whether you're striking a yoga pose, sending out reassuring emails, or simply indulging in some much-needed self-care, remember that this too shall pass. Before you know it, those ISIRs will be in your inbox….we hope!

Subscribe to our blog

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch with our team today.