Financial Aid

*NEW* Upcoming Changes to the FAFSA



Federal Student Aid (FSA) is making changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that could significantly affect students who complete the FAFSA for the 2024-2025 academic year. The changes will impact current and future college students.

Here are some key items to know as of now:

  • The FAFSA is now available!
  • Both the applicant (student) and contributor (parent) must create a Student Aid Account to get an FSA ID before completing the form.
  • If parents are divorced or separated, the parent who provided the most financial support in the last calendar year will now complete the FAFSA.
  • Dependent students must now invite their parent(s) to contribute to their application.
  • An applicant and contributor must provide consent and approval to use the Federal Tax Information Approval (previously the Data Retrieval Tool process).
  • The number of students a family has enrolled in college will no longer be a factor in the FAFSA calculation.
  • The net worth of family farms and small businesses will now be required as part of the application.
  • The FSA ID process is available to individuals without a Social Security Number – see NASFAA Quick Referenceopens PDF file for steps


When will the FAFSA become available?

The FAFSA typically opened annually on October 1. The 2024-2025 application is now open. Since the FAFSA is required for some grant and scholarship programs, keeping track of deadlines established by colleges and other grant and scholarship providers will be important.


Who needs an FSA ID?

Both students and parents must create a Student Aid Account or FSA ID.

  • If parents file as married filing jointly – only one parent FSA ID is required.
  • If parents are unmarried but live together or are married and filing taxes separately, both parents must have an FSA ID.
  • The Social Security Administration must verify the FSA IDs before a FAFSA can be started (allow 3 days for processing)
  • FSA IDs will use two-factor authentication.


Login and Demographic Information
  • The student must provide the legal name, Social Security number (SSN), birthdate, and email of the parent(s) who will contribute to the FAFSA (if no SSN, a mailing address will be required). The parent(s) will then receive an email to add their information to the existing form.
  • Applicants and contributors must log in separately to complete their respective sections.
  • Applicants and contributors must give consent to retrieve and disclose federal tax information. This includes non-tax filers, those without Social Security numbers, and foreign tax filers.
  • Demographic survey questions will include expanded ethnicity and race options.


Who completes the FAFSA?

The contributor (parent) who completes the FAFSA is changing for divorced or separated parents. Previously, the parent a student lived with the most in the last calendar year was included in the FAFSA. Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the parent who provided the most financial support must contribute their information on the application.


Financial Information
  • If the biological parents are separated or divorced, the FAFSA will require financial information from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student (previously the parent the student lived with most in the last 12 months).
  • Parent(s) will now report these items as an asset:
    • Child support received
    • Net worth of a business*
    • Net worth of a family farm*
  • Parent(s) will no longer report child support paid.
  • The FAFSA will no longer require these untaxed items:
    • Payments to tax-deferred retirement or pensions
    • Veterans non-educational benefit
    • Workers’ compensation

*The net worth of a family farm or a small business with fewer than 100 employees was previously not required. Moving forward, the net worth of each will be part of the FAFSA calculation.


Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Student Aid Index (SAI)

The EFC will become the Student Aid Index or SAI.

  • SAI better reflects the FAFSA results, not what a family is expected to pay.
  • The number in college will no longer factor into the SAI calculation.
  • The SAI or federal poverty tables will determine Pell Grant eligibility.

FSA will no longer divide the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), soon to be called the Student Aid Index (SAI), by the number of students a family has in college.

Example: If your EFC was $10,000 last year, the amount was divided by the number of students enrolled in college – meaning if you have two children attending college, your EFC was $5,000 per student. In the future, your SAI will be $10,000 per student.


Please note: There are still updates and changes being made by Federal Student Aid. The upcoming changes to FAFSA aim to make the financial aid process easier and more transparent. Some changes will lead to larger financial aid offers for some and a reduction for others.


Read more about the FAFSA Simplification Act.


Updated 01/10/24