The new FAFSA has streamlined the application process, shortening the application
from more than 100 questions to less than 50. The 2024-25 FAFSA is available now!
Universities and colleges across the nation will recieve applications around April
for Fall 2024.
We've broken down the changes so you don't have to!
The form has a new term called contributors. It refers to anyone who can provide information for the applicant’s FAFSA form,
which can be any of the following:
the student's spouse (if applicable)
a biological or adopted parent
the spouse of the remarried parent who is on the FAFSA (the stepparent)
The FAFSA Simplification Act has numerous benefits, including a shorter application process with an easier experience
for students and parents, greater eligibility for federal student aid, and less barriers
for at-risk student populations. Check out some of the major changes:
The 2024-25 FAFSA has been significantly shortened, from over 100 questions in the
2023-24 FAFSA to less than 50 in the 2024-25 FAFSA. The FAFSA on the Web also more
dynamic, meaning many students may not see all of the questions. Instead, students
will see just those that are relevant to them.
On the previous FAFSA, users had the option to either enter their tax information
manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, with many applicants choosing the latter.
Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, all contributors on the FAFSA are required to use
the IRS Direct Data Exchange to share tax information or confirm non-filing status.
A new term being introduced in the 2024-25 FAFSA is a "contributor," which refers
to any person who must provide information on a student's FAFSA form, such as parents,
step-parents, or a spouse. A student's early answers on the FAFSA will determine which
contributors, if any, need to provide information. Applicable contributors will receive
an email notifying them that they've been identified as an indicator and need to login
to the FAFSA using their own FSA ID (NOT the student's) and provide the required information.
Being a contributor does not mean that they are responsible for the student's educational
costs, but it does mean that the contributor must provide information to the FAFSA.
If they do not, the student's application will be incomplete and they will not be
eligible for any federal student aid.
Many students and families who have completed a FAFSA before may be familiar with
the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, which is how the FAFSA calculated a student's
aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the EFC is being replaced with
the Student Aid Index (SAI), which a more accurate description of a student's aid
eligibility and, unlike the EFC, can be a negative number as low as -1,500.
Please note that, like the EFC, a lower SAI typically indicates greater student aid
eligibility when it comes to need-based aid. Thus, a negative SAI is not a bad thing
for the student, but rather indicates exceptional student need beyond simply having
a 0 in that field.
The number of family members in college will not be used to calculate SAI.
In past FAFSAs, the FAFSA took the number of household members in college into account
when calculating the EFC, with that number being divided proportionally to determine
federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA however, while the application
will still ask how many household members are in college, the answer to that question
will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, students, and particularly students
with siblings in college, may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.
Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, families making less than 175% and single parent
families making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will have their students automatically receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant award
amount. Minimum Pell Grant awards will be guaranteed to students from households (depending
on household structure) below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level. Pell
Grant awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by a student's
For dependent students, the FAFSA previously required financial information from the
parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the previous 12 months. Beginning
with the 2024-25 FAFSA, financial information will instead be required from the parent(s)
who provided the most financial support to the student during that time.
Two additional family assets can now be required to be reported beginning with the
2024-25 FAFSA. When required, families must report the value of their small business
or family farm. Should the family farm include the principal residence of the household,
application will need to determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract
the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm
What Has Not Changed?
While the FAFSA is receiving updates and the aid eligibility calculations are being
revised, many aid-related matters will not change.
The FAFSA will still be required for consideration for federal and state financial
aid every year.
Dependency Status Questions
Dependency status questions concerns can be addressed through an Unusual Circumstance Request form. Please see our financial aid office for more details.
Tax Information Requirement
The FAFSA still requires tax information from the prior-prior year, meaning that for
the 2024-25 FAFSA you will report your 2022 income. Families that had significant
reductions in their income can consider submitting a Special Circumstance Request. Please see our financial aid office for more details.
Questions for Statistical Purposes
The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race, and ethnicity will remain on
the FAFSA. These have no effect on a student's financial aid eligibility and are solely
included for statistical purposes and data collection by the Department of Education.
one time date-change
The FAFSA Application will return to its original October 1st opening date for the
2025-26 school year.
If you have any questions about the new FASFA form, please contact us.
In-Person Services at the Welcome Center Monday - Thursday | 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday | 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.