Changes to FAFSA

The 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available at studentaid.gov.

The White House and U.S. Department of Education officially announced that institutions will not receive 2024-25 FAFSA applicant information until "the first half of March".

Check out our FAFSA Simplification page for more information on the changes. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

Fewer Questions

The 2024-25 FAFSA will have fewer questions than in previous years. The new FAFSA will also make it easier for students and parents to import their tax information directly from the IRS. This means that you will spend less time manually entering information.

FAFSA Submission, Contributors and Deletion

A FAFSA cannot be considered submitted until all required contributors have completed, signed, and submitted their respective sections. When a student or other contributor completes their section of the online FAFSA, they will invite the other contributor(s) to log in and complete their own sections of the FAFSA. The other contributor(s) will then receive the invitation and reminder emails every 7 days throughout that 45-day period until the FAFSA is submitted. If a contributor does not complete their section within that 45-day window, and there is no other activity, the FAFSA will be deleted, and all contributors (including the student) will have to start over.

FSA IDs are Required

The FSA ID is FAFSA’s version of a username and password. If you have logged onto the Federal Student Aid website before, you may already have an FSA ID. Previously, an FSA ID was not required in order to fill out or sign the FAFSA. However, this is changing with the 2024-25 FAFSA. All contributors to the FAFSA will be required to have an FSA ID to fill out and/or sign the FAFSA. A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA including:

  • The student
  • The student’s spouse (if applicable)
  • A biological or adoptive parent
  • A stepparent if the parent on the FAFSA is remarried

While the 2024-25 FAFSA does not open until December, if you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create your FSA ID now. Currently, a Social Security Number (SSN) is required to create an FSA ID; however, parents and other contributors who do not have an SSN will be able to create their own FSA ID when the 2024-25 FAFSA is released.

Changes to Family Contribution

Currently, FAFSA uses the information entered on the application to determine a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). This number is then used by colleges to determine a student’s need-based financial aid eligibility. The new 2024-25 FAFSA will be replacing the EFC with the Student Aid Index (SAI). Along with having a new name, the SAI will use a new formula to determine financial aid eligibility. This new formula is more streamlined and is designed to expand need-based financial aid eligibility. This means that students may receive new or increased awards compared to previous years. The Federal Student Aid Estimator is a great tool to estimate SAI and some federal aid for the 2024-25 award year.

What can you do to prepare?

Create an FSA ID

FSA IDs will be required for all FAFSA contributors including students and parents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, now is a great time to create one! Creating your FSA ID early will mean you are ready to fill out your FAFSA once it is released and you won’t have to delay filling out the application to create an account. FSA IDs can be created on the Federal Student Aid website. The Federal Student Aid YouTube channel has a helpful video on how to create an FSA ID.

Gather Required Information

While the new FAFSA will have less questions, you may still have to provide some information that isn’t readily available. Here are some examples of information to have ready for when the FAFSA releases:

  • 2022 income tax returns and W-2s in the event tax information cannot be imported
  • Records of investments and assets
  • Child support information (if applicable)
  • Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and other personal information for the student and parent(s)