Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Anyone who has ever applied for college financial aid is familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.

Unfortunately, the FAFSA system is experiencing some problems and delays, according to University of Montana Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz.

Applying for College Financial Aid has been Delayed

“For a long time that process has been overly burdensome and complicated, and so the federal government went out to change its application to make it more simplified, however, in their efforts to do that it caused a significant delay this year,” Kuntz said.

Kuntz explained how the FAFSA process normally works, saying that the form is usually filled out in the fall or winter and in the spring it's received by the university.

“We assess the form and then provide those prospective and current students with financial aid and scholarship opportunities based on their need reflecting from the FAFSA. Unfortunately, students are just getting that form available now from the federal government, and so here at the university, we expect to start getting offers out here in the next few days, but because we are a few months behind, we've extended our deadline from May 1 to June 1.”

READ MORE: University of Montana news 

Even with the extended deadline, it's still "critically important" that students and parents fill out the form.

"It's the only way here at the University of Montana that we can really proactively provide aid to students, including lowering tuition bills based on need,” he said. “We have initiatives that even provide tuition free education for some families who have need based issues based on the income that they bring in. However, the only way that we can do that and issue out those scholarship dollars, or those financial aid packages is through the FAFSA process.”

Kuntz invited students and their families to call the UM's financial aid office at 406-243-5373 with any issues, saying staff would be available to help troubleshoot any challenge that may come up.

Click here to find out more about UM’s Financial Aid Office.

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