2024-2025 FAFSA

January 30, 2024 Update:

Further delays: To account for inflationary adjustments as required under the law, the Department of Education has updated information used in the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation, ensuring that students are benefitting from approximately an additional $1.8 billion in aid. This is a good thing for students, however it will further delay FAFSA Processing.

Later than even the intially announced delay, the Department will begin transmitting batches of FAFSA information to schools and state agencies in the first half of March and anticipate catching up with the majority of FAFSA transmissions to schools in the weeks following the beginning of FAFSA delivery.

What to expect Mid-March
    • Students will receive an email informing them that their FAFSA form has been fully processed and their FAFSA information has been sent to the schools they listed on their form.

    • Students who applied using the online FAFSA form will receive an email that they can access their FAFSA Submission Summary by logging in to StudentAid.gov using their account username and password.

    • The Department will send an email reminder to previous FAFSA applicants who have not yet submitted a 2024-25 FAFSA form.

    • Students will be able to make corrections to their FAFSA once their eligibility has been calculated and ISIR generated. Students may view their eligibility calculation by logging back into their Studentaid.gov account.

    • The Department will fully process paper applications in the weeks following.

January 29, 2024 Update:

The FAFSA is up and running, however there have been issues in certain circumstances. For a list of issues, please see the below link.

Open Issues with the 2024-25 FAFSA: https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/topics/fafsa-simplification-information/2024-25-fafsa-issue-alerts 

January 1, 2024 Update:

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Office of the Department of Education has started the soft launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA form, where the form will be available for periods of time while they monitor site performance and respond in real time to any potential issues impacting the applicant experience. During the soft launch they will be initiating pauses to the site, during which time the form will not be available while they make improvements. 

They have already uncovered some minor issues affecting users at various points in the application process and are addressing these issues concurrently and will continue to monitor for additional issues users may encounter.

FSA will not transmit results to any schools until later in January, but once we receive your FAFSA and are able to load it into our system you will receive a letter confirming receipt.

Here is what students, families, and schools can expect during the soft launch:

    • Contributors (the student, parent, student’s spouse, or parent’s spouse), including those without a Social Security number (SSN), will be able to create a StudentAid.gov account to access and complete the online FAFSA form. Contributors who already have a verified account username and password will use their existing credentials to sign in and access the form.

    • FSA will initiate pauses for site maintenance and to make updates as needed to create a better FAFSA experience for students and families. Users who go on-line during a temporary pause should check back at a later time to complete the form.

    • Applicants may experience a waiting room feature, which will help control website volumes to ensure optimal performance of the form.

    • If a student completes their form during the soft launch period, their information will be stored for processing. They do NOT need to return to resubmit their application after the soft launch concludes.

    • If a student completes their FAFSA form, but a contributor cannot access the site during a period when the site is unavailable, the contributor can return to complete their portion of the form as soon as the site becomes available again. Any data entered in the form is still in the system and is secure.

    • If FSA initiates site maintenance while a student or contributor is completing an application, their data is securely saved in the system as they progress through the application.

    • After all sections of the online FAFSA form are completed and submitted, the student will receive a confirmation email noting their submission date, their estimated Student Aid Index (SAI), and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility. However, the student will not receive a FAFSA Submission Summary until FSA processes the FAFSA, beginning in late January.

2024-25 FAFSA Changes Summary

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

The goal of the FAFSA Simplification Act is to make it easier for students to apply for financial aid. The new FAFSA will require fewer questions about income and will rely on the Direct Data Exchange (DDE) with the IRS for completion of the FAFSA. Among other key changes, this legislation attempts to clarify the questions that will be asked and will aim to increase Federal Pell Grant eligibility. While some could see increased financial aid eligibility, others may see a decrease in aid. 

While every attempt to provide accurate and timely information is our goal, due to the significant number of changes occurring there may be changes in timing and how the financial aid process happens this year. We will do our best to update you with necessary information as needed and we appreciate your patience as we all work though the largest FAFSA change in years.

Key Changes

The changes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The 2024-25 FAFSA is scheduled to release by December 31, 2023. Next year it will likely return to the traditional October 1st date.
  • Schools will not begin receiving FAFSA's until late January 2024.
  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is a different way to determine aid eligibility. 
  • Negative Student Aid Index (Negative SAI): the Student Aid Index (SAI) can be a negative number (down to -1500). 
  • FAFSA Submission Summary: replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) as the student’s output document providing a summary of data input on the FAFSA form.
  • Every contributor—anyone (student, the student's spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, or the parent's spouse) who's required to provide information on the FAFSA form—will need an FSA ID to access and complete their section of the online form.
  • All contributors must provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred directly into the student's FAFSA form via direct data exchange with the IRS. If any contributor doesn't provide consent and approval, submission of the FAFSA form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index, which replaces the Expected Family Contribution, will not be calculated and the student won't be eligible for federal student aid.
  • Students will be able to list up to 20 colleges on their online FAFSA form and 10 colleges on the FAFSA PDF.
  • Users can start or access the FAFSA form by visiting StudentAid.gov and logging in, where they'll see the link to the FAFSA form on their Dashboard.
  • The number of questions on the FAFSA has decreased from 108 questions to 36.
  • Who will need to contribute information on the FAFSA application will be determined when the student completes their portion. If your information is required to complete the FAFSA you will receive an email notification to complete your portion. The FAFSA will not be complete until all contributors complete their portion of the application.
  • For students whose parents are separated or divorced, the guidance on which parent income to report has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.
  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been replaced with Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI)
  • Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID. This will speed up FAFSA processing time as they’ll be able to submit the form online, rather than having to print, sign and mail their application. 
  • Male students under the age of 26 are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System to receive federal financial aid. 
  • SAI will no longer take the number of students in college into consideration. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.  
  • The FAFSA Simplification Act expands the Federal Pell Grant to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level. 
  • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
  • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as a primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in their need analysis calculation.

Additional Resources

For more details and additional information see below.

https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/library/dear-colleague-letters/2023-08-04/fafsa-simplification-act-changes-implementation-2024-25 

https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/topics/fafsa-simplification-information 

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46909