FAFSA Changes for 2024-2025

2024 - 2025 FAFSA and FAFSA Simplification Updates

How to get started:

  • Create a Federal Student ID for users without SSNs at studentaid.gov
  • Find out if additional contributors are needed on your FAFSA. Dependency status, marital status, and tax filing status will determine if additional contributors are needed. Contributors might be:
    • the student's parent(s)
    • the student's step-parent
    • the student's spouse

What's Changing with the FAFSA?

There are changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2024-2025 FAFSA will have a new simpler process, new terminology, and will increase financial aid eligibility for more students. This is due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. To get help with your 2024-2025 FAFSA attend one of MCC's Summer FAFSA Workshops info is here.

Applicant will be required to give consent to use the Future Act Direct Data Exchange (FADDX)

Starting in the 2024-25 academic year, anyone filling out the FAFSA form will need to give permission for the Department of Education to get their tax information directly from the IRS. This applies to students, parents, and spouses, regardless of whether they file a US tax return. If your tax information is on the FAFSA form, you'll need to give permission each year. If the IRS doesn't have any information for you, they'll send specific codes to show your status. Everyone providing information on the form must give permission, or the student won't be eligible for federal student aid. This change is expected to reduce the need for additional documentation.

What is a contributor?

Starting in 2024-25, the FAFSA will use a new term "contributor" for anyone who needs to provide information on a student's form, like a parent, stepparent, or spouse. Each contributor must have an FSA ID, a username and password, to log in and complete their section. If two contributors are married and filed a joint tax return, only one needs an FSA ID and to complete the FAFSA. The last contributor to complete a section will be able to submit the application. Contributors will receive an email letting them know they've been identified and will need to log in using their FSA ID to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. Being a contributor doesn't make someone financially responsible for the student's education costs, but they must provide information on the FAFSA for the student to be eligible for federal aid. Students will be asked to list the email addresses of other required contributors, like parents, on the FAFSA application.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The Student Aid Index (SAI) more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

Your SAI will help to determine what type of financial aid you may be eligible for. Your financial aid eligibility is also determined by:

  • your grade level status (freshman or sophomore)
  • the number of credit hours you're enrolled in
  • whether you’re a dependent or independent student (based on the FAFSA)
  • your cost-of-attendance (COA)

The number in college will not be used to calculate the SAI

Starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application will no longer factor in the number of household members attending college when calculating federal aid eligibility. This means that the question about the number of household members in college will still be asked, but your answer will not affect the aid calculation. Consequently, some students with siblings in college may experience changes in their federal aid eligibility.

The FAFSA is strictly a role-based form

When students log in, they can only see student questions. Parents or spouses will only see questions about their role. The form can be submitted once the final contributor finishes their section.

Family size is based on the number of tax exemptions claimed on tax form(s) transferred into the FAFSA

The size of your family for financial aid purposes is determined by the number of dependents listed on your or your parents' U.S. federal tax return. If there have been changes in your family size since you filed your 2022 tax forms, you can update this information on the FAFSA. However, the actual number from the IRS is not visible to you as it is masked for privacy.

Child support received has been moved to the Asset section of the form

Child support paid outside the household is no longer a required reported asset for those families.

The parent responsible for submitting the FAFSA in cases of divorce or separation has changed

Dependent students will now need to provide financial information from the parent(s) who offered the most financial support, rather than the parent(s) they lived with the most in the last 12 months, as was previously required.

Family farms and small businesses may need to be reported as assets

If your family's adjusted gross income is over $60,000 or if you have specific schedules, you must report your assets. You can't avoid reporting the net value of your business or family farm. If your family farm is where you live, you need to figure out the total net value of all your farm assets and subtract the net value of your home. This will give you the final value of your farm assets. Even if your income hasn't changed, you might see a higher Student Aid Index (SAI) because all business or farm net values are now included.

Reporting assets

As usual, the FAFSA will ask for each contributor to report the value of cash, savings, and checking accounts, and investments. 529 accounts still count as parent assets, but parents will only need to report the value of a 529 account for the student, and no longer need to report the value of 529 accounts for any other children.

FAFSA Submission Summary is replacing the Student Aid Report

After you submit the FAFSA, you will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS). The FSS contains all the information you provided on the FAFSA and also includes your Student Aid Index (SAI).

Provisional Independent Status

Students who cannot provide their parent(s)' information on the FAFSA due to unusual circumstances but do not qualify as independent can still submit the application. They will be given provisional independent status. Any student with this status will need to provide additional information to the Financial Aid Office to verify this status and be declared officially independent.

Incomplete FAFSA

If you don't complete your FAFSA within 45 days, it will expire and you will need to start over. Anyone who hasn't finished their part will get a reminder every 7 days.