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FAFSA Simplification Act

What you need to know for 2024-25

EFSC's Financial Aid Office wants to be sure you're aware of new regulatory requirements for the 2024-25 academic year Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA). One of the federal government’s goals is to make it easier for students to apply for financial aid by significantly reducing the number of questions.

The Department of Education has launched the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

Review the changes below and we will provide more updates as needed. Be sure to apply for aid as soon as possible so we can determine your eligibility as early as possible.

Changes to the FAFSA Process

  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is now called the Student Aid Index (SAI)
  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been renamed Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI)
  • The Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent who provides you with the most financial support and will no longer be the parent with whom you lived with the most over the past 12 months.
  • Both students and parents/guardians will have to create a FSA ID
  • Students, spouses, parents, and step-parents will now need to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility.
    • This consent will allow the IRS to share Federal Taxpayer Information.
    • If any party to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.

Changes to Calculating Your Aid Eligibility

Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and a change in the methodology used to determine aid could impact the amount of any aid package.

The new needs-analysis formula:

    • Removes the number of family members in college from the calculation
    • Allows a minimum SAI of -$1,500
    • Implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants
    • May impact who receives Pell Grants, with past recipients possibly no longer qualifying, and the potential for new eligibility for students who did not qualify in the past
    • Will consider child support received as an asset and not as untaxed income
    • Impacts families who own a small business/farm that also serves as thier primary residence: Assets of that business/farm will now be considered in their need analysis calculation.

Why is it changing and why the delay for 2024-25?

In 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in the Title IV programs.

The launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA form is due to the significant changes, which also will impact the 2025-26 FAFSA availability date. The Department of Education plans to return to the traditional October 1st FAFSA launch date after the 2025-26 academic year.