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FAFSA 2024-2025 Understanding What's New

FAFSA Simplification

In 2020, Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act which incorporated significant changes to federal student financial aid. Specifically, the Act overhauled the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the way aid eligibility is calculated (needs analysis) and the policies and procedures for administering student financial aid and slated for full implementation to take effect during the 2024-2025 academic year. 

As a result, the FAFSA was not made available on October 1, but was released on December 31, 2023. During the initial roll out the FAFSA was only available on a limited basis, however, as of April 16, 2024 students and contributors are able to initialize, complete and make corrections to the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

What’s New with the FAFSA

  • The EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) is now the Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been renamed the Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI)
  • For dependent students whose parents are divorced or separated, the parent who must supply information on the FAFSA is changing from the parent whom the student lived with the most in the last 12 months to the parent who provided the most financial support. This parent is now termed as a “contributor”.
  • All who are providing information on the FAFSA (contributors i.e. students, spouses, parent(s) and stepparents) must obtain an Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID)
    • The FSA ID is necessary to provide consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA:
    • This consent will allow the IRS to share the FTI.
    • If any party does not provide consent, the FAFSA will be considered incomplete and the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.
    • Couples whose filing status was married filing jointly are only required to have one parent as the contributor.
  • The number of questions on the FAFSA has decreased from 106 questions to 36.
  • Students can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.

Next Steps

  1. All Contributors are required to obtain an FSA ID. Get yours today!
  2. Check the FAFSA website often until you can successfully submit your FAFSA.
  3. The FAFSA 2024-2025 Help Center provides answers to frequently asked questions.