Free Application for Federal Student Aid
The 2024-25 FAFSA is changing
The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed Dec. 27, 2020, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The 2024-25 FAFSA is undergoing major changes and improvements, so it won't be available until December 2023. Your answers on the 2024-25 FAFSA determine your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025 and summer 2025 terms.
You can expect the following changes:
- The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for you to complete.
- New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
- Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.
More information will be added to this page as it becomes available.
FAFSA changes for 2024-25
FAFSA availability [updated Nov. 30]
On Nov. 15, the Department of Education announced to higher education financial aid offices, stating the 2024-25 FAFSA will open to students and families by Dec. 31, 2023. Schools will not receive the FAFSA until possibly as late as Jan. 31, 2024. At that time, corrections and updates can be made. Check with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to determine if corrections are necessary.
After the 2024-25 aid year, the FAFSA will be available Oct. 1 as usual.
Streamlined application process
You will use 2022 tax information to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA.
The FAFSA will contain fewer questions and requirements, and you'll transfer tax information using a direct data exchange with the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool currently used.
FAFSA paper application
This method is not recommended.
The paper application for the FAFSA will be available in PDF form by Dec. 31, 2023 on studentaid.gov. Applications completed through this method will need to be mailed by the student or family to the Department of Education for processing. There is currently no known date regarding when schools will receive information from paper applications for the 2024-25 year.
Students and families are highly encouraged to use the online application.
New terminology and information
The FAFSA still asks how many of your family members are in college, but that number will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.
- Student Aid Index: For academic years 2023-24 and prior, the SAI is called the Estimated Family Contribution, or EFC.
- This is the need analysis formula used to determine eligibility for financial aid.
- This number may now be a negative number.
- Contributor: Contributors are those required to provide information for the FAFSA, including the student, student's spouse, the student's biological or adopted parent, and the parent's spouse.
- If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to submitting the FAFSA. It is not automatically the parent you primarily lived with during the previous 12 months.
- Consent: Consent must be given by each tax-filing contributor to transfer data from the IRS to the FAFSA.
- This data transfer is now required and is no longer optional.
- If consent is not given, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid.
- FAFSA Submission Summary: Currently known as the Student Aid Report, or SAR, this report summarizes your FAFSA information.
We are working to create a timeline specific to SFA and our students. In the meantime, consider reviewing the Department of Education's 2024-25 FAFSA Roadmap for Students and Families.
Prepare for the FAFSA
While the 2024-25 FAFSA won't be available until December, you and your contributors can still create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website. The FSA ID gives you access to the Federal Student Aid's online system, where you'll:
- fill out the FAFSA when it's available
- sign your Master Promissory Note (if borrowing loans)
- complete loan counseling
- and more.
Important notes for creating your FSA ID
- Each contributor must provide their own email address.
- Duplicate email addresses are no longer allowed when creating your FSA ID.
- School email addresses aren't permanent and therefore should not be used.