2024-2025 FAFSA® Changes

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Congress has introduced the FAFSA Simplification Act.  By reducing the number of questions on the application, they hope to make federal student aid more accessible for students and families.

How will the changes affect filling out the FAFSA?

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 31, 2023
      • This application determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.  Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will open on December 31, 2023. This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.  For more information, please visit NASFAA Statement on 2024-25 FAFSA.
The FAFSA application will be easier for students to complete
      • With fewer questions, fewer requirements and retrieval of tax information using the direct data exchange from the IRS, the process of filling out the FAFSA will be easier for students to input information.
FAFSA terminology will be updated
      • The FAFSA is introducing the new term contributor. This is anyone who is required to provide information for the student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, an adopted or biological parent, and the parent’s spouse.  A contributor’s information does not indicate responsibility for the student’s college costs.
      • Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA.
      • Contributors are required to provide personal and financial information on their portion of the FAFSA.
      • All Contributors–student, student’s spouse (if married), and student’s parents(s) (if a dependent student)–are required to provide consent to have tax data transferred from the IRS to the FAFSA application. If consent is not provided by all contributing parties, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid.
      • The formula used to determine financial aid eligibility will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). Unlike the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the SAI may be a negative number.
      • Family farms and small businesses are now considered assets.
      • The FAFSA application will still include the number of family members in college, however, it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.
      • The Student Aid Report (SAR) will now be referred to as the FAFSA Submission Summary.  Students will receive this document after completing the FAFSA.
Federal financial aid eligibility will expand
      • The new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

What information will remain unchanged?

      • Dependency status questions that determine if your parents must provide their information, will remain the same.
      • Federal Aid Rights & Responsibilities remain the same.
      • The FAFSA application must be filled out annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens.
      • Questions answered about the applicant’s ethnicity, sex, and race have no effect on federal student aid eligibility.
      • FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information.
      • Student’s that have had a notable reduction to income due to extenuating circumstances can still request a family contribution appeal.
      • Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements are still required to maintain financial aid eligibility.

How can I prepare to fill out the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

      • Know your FSA ID-Everyone who will contribute information to the student’s FAFSA, must have a StudentAid.gov account (formerly known as FSA ID). This includes the student, the student’s parents or stepparents (if the student is a dependent), and the student’s spouse (if applicable).  Be prepared by registering and verifying your account or reconfirming your information from a prior year application.
      • Have Tax Information ready-Each contributor will need to have their prior-prior federal tax return information (Two years prior to the base year.  Example 2022 taxes will be required for the 2024-2025 FAFSA application).
      • Know what College(s) you may want to receive your FAFSA-Students can now select up to 20 colleges on their online FAFSA.
      • Get an Estimate-Students can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator before filling out the FAFSA form.  This can help students understand their options for paying for college with an estimate of how much federal student aid they may be eligible for.
      • Questions-Contact the Eastern Arizona College Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office with any questions you may have regarding the upcoming changes to the FAFSA application.