FAFSA® Simplification Act
Impacts & Benefits
The FAFSA® is getting a makeover to make it even easier for students and their families to submit with fewer questions and less documentation, with direct IRS data exchange.
The FAFSA Simplification Act will begin in the 2024–2025 award year. The changes affect the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools participating in federal student aid programs.
The law will also affect every state using FAFSA® data to award state grant aid and every school participating in the federal student aid programs.
The U.S. Department of Education also estimates we should see an increase in the number of students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.
What is changing?
A contributor refers to anyone required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA®, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.
- You, the student, will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, social security number, and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of your FAFSA®.
- Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of your FAFSA®. They can only see and complete their specific areas of your FAFSA®.
- All Contributors must consent to have their federal tax information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA®. If all parties do not agree, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional.
For divorced or separated parents, the contributing parent is the one who provided the most financial support during the 12 months before filing the FAFSA®.
The parent you lived with primarily in the past 12 months is no longer the default contributing parent.
Your Federal Tax Information (FTI) includes the number of people in your family size by default. However, the number of family members currently attending college will still be asked on the FAFSA® form. But, it will be excluded from the calculation for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
Housing: From 2024-2025, the FAFSA® won't include the housing question. New undergrads will get an on-campus budget unless they have an off-campus waiver. After the first year, students get an off-campus budget unless they inform the office they're living on campus. This change simplifies the aid process.
Federal work-study: The 2024-2025 FAFSA® no longer includes the work-study interest question. Students with demonstrated need will be offered federal work-study as part of their financial aid. The acceptance, job application, interview, and selection processes remain unchanged through FrogJobs.
Cost of attendance: The Act updated cost of attendance terms and added budget considerations.
- From now on, the term "Housing" will be used instead of "Room" in the cost of attendance information.
- From now on, the term "Food" will be used instead of "Board" in the cost of attendance details.
- Professional credentialing and unique course materials may incur additional costs, but these expenses are now covered by the policy.
Dependent students with unusual circumstances preventing them from providing parent data will get provisional independent status and federal student aid eligibility estimate instead of a rejected FAFSA®. Follow up with our office for final determinations.
Don't wait until December to start preparing for the 2024-2025 application. By taking the necessary steps in advance, you can ensure that you have all the required information and documents ready when the application becomes available.
- Create an FSA ID for yourself and inform your parent(s) or spouse to do the same. Use the tool provided to determine which parent(s) should be a contributor.
- Gather required documents:
- Your social security number
- Your parents' social security number (if you are a dependent student)
- Your driver's license number
- Your Alien Registration number if you are not a US citizen
- Federal tax information or returns for yourself and your parents (if dependent)
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits for you and your parents
- Information on cash savings and checking account balances, investments including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live), and business and farm assets for you and your parents
- Stay informed. Check the Federal Student Aid website regularly for the most current updates.