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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


FAFSA murders my mental health

Anthony Addante
FAFSA is still a broken mess that makes my eyes bleed with frustration.

Just when I thought my FAFSA woes were over, they came back in full force. About a month after I wrote an article outlining the failures of the FAFSA, it’s still a broken mess that is a Sisyphean task to navigate. Not even Stephen Hawking could figure out this nightmare of a website.

The first bad sign this time around came from Illinois State. They sent an email on March 15th updating all the applicants on their financial aid timeline and they revealed that they had received less than 10 FAFSA forms. What happened to early March?

I can’t wait to get my award letters next century (Anthony Addante)

A few days later, my father informed me that the FAFSA form had been processed. I logged into the website, giddy to learn how the federal government would mess up this time. What I saw was a thing of nightmares.

I had to provide a signature, but I couldn’t click the button.

Somewhere millions of brain cells screamed out in pain. (Anthony Addante)

I tried to use Aidan, their in-website helper AI, but he was of little use. I thought I was clear in my messaging; perhaps I need to only use baby talk?

I had a kind conversation with the best helper in the world! (Anthony Addante)

So, I looked around for further instruction, and it told me I needed to make corrections. I tried to navigate to the menus it wanted me to go to, but I was unable to find them. Even if they were somewhere, I shouldn’t have had to go searching for them.

Has the government ever heard of a hyperlink?

After about wasting 10 minutes on that, I looked around for more clues to try and solve this complex puzzle. Perhaps the FAFSA is a CIA test meant to find the most bold and intelligent Americans. Only if one accesses the very coding of the FAFSA website will they find their financial aid information.

But alas, I am not a hacking extraordinaire and so I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a program.

Anyway, after searching over the website one last time, I decided to look at the very top. It told me that online corrections will be “available in coming weeks.” The website literally told me below that action was required and that errors were found in my application.

What is going on? Nobody knows (Anthony Addante)

So which one is it? Is action required? Will I forever be stuck in a horrible purgatory where I’m forced to live in fear and anxiety over whether or not my FAFSA form is actually going to work?

The answer is unclear. At this point, I may need to seek out my local priest or perhaps Shaman for spiritual guidance on this arduous journey. Maybe Tarot cards?

I will leave you with this prayer; say it every time FAFSA makes you want to smash your head through some drywall:

Hail FAFSA, full of bugs,
The incompetence of the federal government is with thee;
Blessed art thou among financial aid websites,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy programming, Aidan.

Holy FAFSA, mother of loans,
Pray for us applicants, Now
And at the hour of our death.


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