FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA® has been simplified.

The FAFSA Simplification Act prioritized simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) application process, resulting in changes to the 2024–25 FAFSA® form, process, and methodologies for determining eligibility for federal aid.

The 2024–25 FAFSA is scheduled for release in December rather than its traditional timeframe of October 1. No specific date has been set by the US Department of Education for the December release. Please monitor studentaid.gov and be on the lookout for communications from Federal Student Aid.

Why is it changing?

“On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the FAFSA® form and expands access to federal student aid.”

Source: Federal Student Aid: FAFSA® Simplification Fact Sheet

What is changing?

Top 10 Changes

  1. The number of questions has been reduced.
  2. Students and parents who provide information on the FAFSA® are considered “contributors.”
  3. Demographic questions have been added to the FAFSA®. Information gathered is for data collection purposes only and will not be shared with schools.
  4. Questions about Selective Service registration and drug convictions have been removed.
  5. Family size will be determined using federal tax return data, but can be adjusted if it does not reflect the student’s current family size.
  6. The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI) and a new needs analysis formula has been implemented.
  7. Federal Pell grant eligibility is now linked to family size and the federal poverty level.
  8. Contributors need to provide consent to retrieve federal tax information and/or to confirm nontax filing status.
  9. For students whose parents are divorced, separated, or who live apart, the FAFSA® must be completed by the parent who provides the most financial support to the student.
  10. The federal needs analysis formula no longer takes the number of colleges into consideration.

Are you interested in learning more?