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January 04, 2024

MDHEWD extends priority deadline for Access Missouri Grant to April 1 following FAFSA delay

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) announced today that eligible students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1, 2024, will receive the Access Missouri Grant. The priority deadline to file in Missouri is typically Feb. 1; however, the deadline has been extended due to the delayed release of the 2024-25 FAFSA and the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that the release is a soft launch.  

“After careful consideration, we felt it was imperative to extend the priority deadline and allow Missourians the time they need to complete this form,” said Dr. Ben Boggs, Commissioner of Higher Education and Workforce Development. “Completing the FAFSA is an important first step for every student planning to attend college, as it helps determine the type and amount of financial aid you may be eligible for. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and consider extending completion deadlines further if necessary.”   

The FAFSA normally opens on Oct. 1 each year, but required updates put in place by the FAFSA Simplification Act delayed the release until the end of December. Although the 2024-25 FAFSA is now available online, it is considered a soft launch. According to the U.S. Department of Education, users who attempt to complete the form during the soft launch may experience interruptions, availability issues, and planned pauses for maintenance as they continue to work to improve the user experience. Additionally, they have advised that Federal Student Aid (FSA) will not transmit results to schools until later in January.

Eligible students who complete the FAFSA by April 1 will receive the Access Missouri Grant, although final award amounts will not be determined until later in the year. For more information about Access Missouri, visit dhewd.mo.gov. For financial aid questions, please call MDHEWD at 800-473-6757, option 4.

The final federal deadline to file the FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic school year is June 30, 2025, and the last day to file corrections or updates is Sept. 14, 2025. Students should also check with the college or university they plan to attend to determine if they have their own FAFSA deadline.

In October, MDHEWD launched a FAFSA website to help keep students informed about the 2024-25 FAFSA filing period and updates in the process. The new website includes information about what individuals can do to prepare, how to file, and what to review for the FAFSA. Along with easy-to-follow steps, students can access answers to frequently asked questions, infographics, and helpful blogs.

MDHEWD will continue to publish additional information about the 2024-25 FAFSA as it becomes available. In addition to the new website, MDHEWD will post helpful information and updates on MDHEWD’s social media pages. MDHEWD will also host free FAFSA Frenzy events to help students and families prepare for the FAFSA and set up their FSA ID. To find an event near you, review the Public FAFSA Frenzy events calendar.