Many changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 financial aid year due to the FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020. For full information and complete changes, be sure to check studentaid.gov.
Notable 24-25 FAFSA Changes
The 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023 at the earliest. After the 24-25 aid year, the FAFSA should be available in October again.
The FAFSA will now use a data exchange directly from the IRS to reduce the number of questions presented to all applicants. Additionally, the overall number of questions on the application is less than half.
Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college and a change in the methodology used to determine aid. The Student Aid Index or SAI is the new number that will be provided upon FAFSA completion in place of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number as low as -1500.
A new term for 24-25 is a "contributor" which simply refers to anyone that is required to provide information on a student's FAFSA which could include student, spouse, or parents. Students will need the name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and email address to invite a contributor to complete their portion of the FAFSA.
Using the direct data exchange from the IRS will require consent from all parties to have their tax data transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided for the transfer of Federal Tax Information (FTI), the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid.
With the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculations, more students are expected to have Pell Grant eligiblity.
For students with divorced or separated parents, the custodial parent on the FAFSA will now be the parent who provides you with the most financial support, not the one you lived with most over the past 12 months.