FAFSA Simplification

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the upcoming 2024–2025 award year. This is the first major redesign of the FAFSA and process in over 40 years.

Why is it Changing?

“FAFSA® Simplification Act: On December 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.”

Benefits to Students and Families

  • A more streamlined application process
  • Expanded eligibility for federal student aid
  • Expanded eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant
  • Reduced barriers for certain student populations
  • A better user experience for the FAFSA form
  • Enhanced data sharing with IRS to simplify the applicant’s experience

What’s Changing?

  • 2024–2025 FAFSA release date
    • Normally the FAFSA is available October 1 each year, but the 2024–2025 FAFSA will be available December 31, 2023.
  • Streamlined application
    • You’ll notice fewer questions when completing the 2024–2025 FAFSA and an easier way to transfer tax information directly from the IRS.
  • New terminology
    • Contributor: Anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA, for example, a parent or spouse.
    • Consent: Each contributor will need to provide consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included on the FAFSA.
    • SAI: Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC was used to calculate the amount a family could contribute to a student’s education. The SAI is now based on an actual index of the federal poverty guidelines.
    • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS.
  • FSA ID
    • There will be two-step verification and all FAFSA contributors must have an FSA ID to log into the online form. There will be a new process to get an FSA ID for parents and spouses without a Social Security number.

Federal Student Aid Estimator

Use this tool to see how much federal student aid you may be eligible for in the 2024–2025 award year. Note: This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for the 2024–2025 award year.

Resources

What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?
Federal Student Aid Estimator