FAFSA 2024-25 will open December 2023. The Department of Education, Federal Student Aid (FSA) Division, is working on several changes to make federal aid more accessible for students and families.
Why is it changing?
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021:
Future Act -
- Allows the Department of Education to automatically obtain federal tax information from the IRS for students, parents, and other contributors (such as a spouse or stepparent).
- Requires consent from students and other contributors separately.
FAFSA Simplification Act -
- Introduces significant changes to the FAFSA application process, including changes to the FAFSA form.
- Changes in how students complete the application.
- Changes in eligibility calculation.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022:
FAFSA Simplification Technical Corrections Act -
- Extended FAFSA simplification timeline.
- Updated language associated with Cost of Attendance (COA)
- Provided additional flexibility for assisting students with unusual circumstances.
- Modified the terms and conditions for students that qualify for Pell Grant funds based upon meeting special conditions currently associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and the Children of Fallen Heroes Grant.
What Is Not Changing?
These federal aid requirements, rights and responsibilities have not changed or had minor updates:
- The FAFSA remains required annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens.
- Questions introduced in 2023-24 about the applicant's sex, race, and ethnicity have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and remain only for statistical purposes.
- Dependency status questions to determine if your parents must provide their information remain the same.
- FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information. Families that had significant reduction in income due to extenuating circumstances can still request special circumstances review.
- Federal Education Loans requirements remain the same.
- Federal Aid Rights & Responsibilities also didn't change.
- Withdrawing Early
- Participation Requirements
- Academic Requirements for Federal Aid are still required to maintain eligibility.
Best Practices for Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2024-25
Before you start:
- Create or reconfirm your FSA ID. Everyone who needs to provide information on the FAFSA needs an FSA ID. This includes the student, the student's parents or stepparents (if the student is a dependent), and the student's spouse (if applicable).
- Gather your tax information. You will need to provide tax information for the student and their parents or stepparents, if applicable.
Steps to complete the FAFSA:
- Go to studentaid.gov and log in with your FSA ID.
- Complete the Student Section of the FAFSA.
- Indicate any contributors to your FAFSA. This includes your parents or stepparents (if you are a dependent student) and your spouse (if applicable).
- Ask your contributors to create FSA IDs and complete their sections of the FAFSA.
- Review your FAFSA and submit it.
- Start early. Some FAFSA funds are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so submitting it as early as possible is best.
- Be accurate. Provide complete and accurate information on the FAFSA. Any errors or omissions could delay your application or even make you ineligible for financial aid.
- Keep copies of all supporting documents. If selected by Federal Student Aid, you may be asked to provide copies of your tax returns, W-2s, and other documents to verify your information.
- Contact us for help if you have any questions about the FAFSA or need assistance completing it.
Additional information on contributors:
- If you are a dependent student, you must indicate your parents or stepparents as contributors on the FAFSA.
- If your parents are married and filed joint 2022 tax returns, only one parent needs to complete the FAFSA as a contributor.
- If your parents are married and filed separate 2022 tax returns, both parents need to complete the FAFSA as contributors.
- If your parents are divorced, separated, or never married, the parent who provides the most financial support should complete the FAFSA as a contributor.
- If you are married, you must indicate your spouse as a contributor on the FAFSA.
What happens after you submit the FAFSA:
Once you submit the FAFSA, it will be processed by the Federal Student Aid office. You will receive a notification once your FAFSA has been processed. You can then check your financial aid status on your studentaid.gov account.
Once we receive your application at our school, we will contact you.
Learn More about the FAFSA here.