2024-2025 FAFSA Changes
The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 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 federal student aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.
When will the 2024-2025 FAFSA be available?
What are some of the changes
coming to the fafsa?
There are exciting changes coming to the FAFSA application for the 2024-2025 aid year. This includes a more streamlined application process, better user experience, expanded eligibility, and reduced barriers for certain student populations.
The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the online FAFSA is dynamic, some students won't be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application and make it less daunting for students and their families.
Previously, the FAFSA allowed students to list up to 10 colleges and universities.
Currently, the FAFSA is only available in English and Spanish. The 2024-2025 application will be expanded to include the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents.
Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-2025, all FAFSA contributors must provide consent for the U.S. Department of Education to receive federal tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.
A contributor — a new term being introduced on the 2024-2025 FAFSA — refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent, step-parent, or spouse). A student's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such and will need to log in to the FAFSA using their own FSA ID to provide the required information.
Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.
A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine federal student aid eligibility, and unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.
Previously, the FAFSA included the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal student aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate UAFS students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.
Families making less than 175 percent and single parents making less than 225 percent of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275, 325, 350, or 400 percent of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by the SAI.
For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the previous 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.
When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final net value of their farm assets.
What is not changing?
While the FAFSA is being updated and the eligibility calculation has been revised, there are a number of federal student aid-related matters that will not change.
- The general types of aid available to UAFS students and federal student loan limits will not change.
- The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
- Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
- The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you'll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024-2025 application.
The UAFS Financial Aid and Veteran Benefits Office is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. Due to the significant changes that are occurring, portions of our website may not be 100 percent accurate for the 2024-2025 academic year. We will continue to update this page as we receive more information from the U.S. Department of Education and Federal Student Aid and appreciate your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.