FAFSA Simplification

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming 2024-2025 aid year! The Office of Student Financial Aid and Student Financial Success wants to help ensure that you and your family have a full understanding of these changes and what you can do to prepare for completion of the 2024-25 FAFSA

Why the change?

The FAFSA Simplification is a result of several pieces of legislation over the past few years:

  • FUTURE Act
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022

What does this mean for you?

The FAFSA process and application have been simplified! The 2024-25 FAFSA process is going to look a bit different than it was in the past; but, don’t worry, we’re here to help and keep you informed!

What can you do now to prepare?

Plan ahead!

  • Normally the FAFSA becomes available October 1st each year, but the 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until sometime in December 2023
    • Mark your calendar for December 2023- we’ll update you once we know the official data that you can complete your 2024-2025 FAFSA
  • Obtain your Studentaid.gov Account
    • There will be two-step verification process and all FAFSA contributors must have an Studentaid.gov account to log into the online form
    • Studentaid.gov account must be created 2-3 days prior to filling out the 2024-2025 FAFSA
    • If you have filled out the FAFSA in the past and already have a Studentaid.gov account, you may want to confirm you know your password or create a new one
    • There will also be a new process to get a Studentaid.gov account for parents and spouses without a Social Security number. More details on this will be coming out soon
  • Prepare for priority deadlines to ensure you don’t miss out on additional aid
    • New student deadline – February 1, 2024
    • Transfer student deadline – February 29, 2024
    • Current student deadline – February 29, 2024
  • Try the Federal Student Aid Estimator to estimate of how much federal student aid the student may be eligible to receive. These estimates are based on the new Student Aid Index (SAI)

What’s Changing on the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

  • The process for completing the FAFSA has changed. The FAFSA is now “student driven”
    • The student will complete their portion of the FAFSA first and then invite “contributors” to complete their portion
      • A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on an applicant’s FAFSA including:
        • The student;
        • The student’s spouse (if applicable);
        • A biological or adoptive parent; or
        • The spouse of the remarried parent who is on the FAFSA–the stepparent
      • Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, social security number, and email address to invite them
    • All contributors must have a Studentaid.gov account (formerly known as the FSA ID) 2-3 days prior to filling out the FAFSA
    • The additional contributors will receive an email to complete their portion. All contributors to the FAFSA must use their studentaid.gov account, complete their section, provide consent, and sign electronically
    • Once all contributors have completed their portions it will show on the student’s dashboard
  • Fewer questions. The 2024-25 FAFSA is going from about 120 questions down to around 40!
  • Easier way to transfer tax information directly from the IRS
    • You will no longer have to “leave” the FAFSA to transfer data
    • All contributors must give consent to transfer tax data, whether they filed or not. Contributors cannot avoid providing consent by manually entering Federal Tax Information (FTI) on the FAFSA.
      • If a student or (student’s spouse) does not provide consent, the student will not be eligible for any Title IV aid
      • If a parent contributor refuses to provide consent, the student will be given the opportunity to indicate they would like to receive only a Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • The Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent(s) who provided you with more financial support, instead of the parent(s) with whom you lived more during the past 12 months
  • With the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI) – this is a new need analysis formula that we will use when awarding need-based grants and scholarships
    • The Cost of Attendance – Student Aid Index = Financial Need
  • The student’s family size is determined with what was reported on the student/parents’ tax returns but can be edited. The 2024-25 FAFSA will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level
  • The number of family members in college is no longer considered in calculating the SAI
  • All businesses assets will now need to be reported regardless of the size or amount of employees
  • All farm assets will now be reported regardless of whether the family is living on the farm

Resources

What does providing consent, also referred to as providing FTI Approval, on my 24-25 FAFSA result in?

  • The Department of Education (DE) to use name and social security number to match with the IRS.
  • The disclosure of Tax Information by the IRS to DE.
  • The use of Tax Information by DE to determine a student’s eligibility for federal student aid.
  • The redisclosure of Tax Information by DE to colleges and state higher education agencies for financial aid