Changes to FAFSA

Changes Coming to the 2024-25 FAFSA

Congress has instituted the FAFSA Simplification Act, which is a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. As the changes are implemented our office will work to assist students and their families through this process.

Changes in Terminology

  • The EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) will now be the SAI (Student Aid Index).
  • Room and Board will now be referred to as Food and Housing.
  • Parents, guardians, and/or a student's spouse will now be referred to as Contributors.
  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been renamed the Direct Data Exchange (DDX).

Change in Date FAFSA Becomes Available

  • Rather than opening Oct. 15, the FAFSA will now open by the end of December.
  • Due to the late release of the 2024-25 FAFSA, the CSS Profile and 2022 tax returns will be used to estimate federal and institutional aid eligibility for Early Decision I financial aid packages. While the FAFSA will eventually be needed to finalize these packages, it is unlikely that it will change the estimates greatly unless different information is reported on this application. 

Changes in the FAFSA Itself

  • All students and contributors will be required to give consent for the FAFSA to pull your tax information from the IRS.
  • In cases of divorced or separated parents, the custodial parent is determined by whichever parent contributes more to the student. If the amount contributed is the same then the parent with the higher income will be used.
  • The number of students in college will no longer impact the SAI.
  • All students and contributors will be required to have their own FSA ID to complete their portion of the FAFSA.
  • Parents without an SSN can now create and FSA ID and no longer need to sign a paper copy.
  • Students can now list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA rather than the previous 10.

What can you do now to prepare?

  • All students and contributors will be required to have their own FSA ID to complete their portion of the FAFSA.  If you don't already have an FSA ID, create one now on the FSA website
  • Mark your calendar for December 2023 – we'll update here once we know the official date that you can complete your 2024-25 FAFSA.
  • Check back often for updates – This is the biggest update to the FAFSA in 40 years. We will update here as more information becomes available.