The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year. You can expect the following changes:
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023.
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.
- The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
- New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
- Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.
We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.
FAFSA Changes for 2024-2025
- Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023. This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.
Streamlined Application Process
- The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
New Terminology & Information
- The FAFSA is introducing the new term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.
- Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA.
- Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA.
- If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent(s) is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA. It is not automatically the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.
- All Contributors–student, student’s spouse (if married), and student’s parents(s) (if a dependent student)–must provide consent to have tax data transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided by all parties, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional. It is now required.
- The formula to determine financial aid, formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be called the Student Aid Index (SAI). Unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number.
- Small businesses and family farms are now considered assets. The Department of Education will provide more details in the coming months.
- The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA, but it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.
- The Student Aid Report (SAR) will now be called the FAFSA Submission Summary. This is the summary submission document you receive after completing the FAFSA.
Expanded Pell Grant Eligibility
- The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.
Prepare for the FAFSA
While the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:
- Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
- An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
- With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it is available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
- Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.
Federal Student Aid — What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?