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Admissions . Financing Your Education . 2024-25 FAFSA 

2024-25 FAFSA

The FAFSA is changing

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the 2024-25 aid year! 

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the process used to award federal student aid.

Many details are still in the works, and CIA’s Office of Financial Aid will be sure to keep you in the loop as we learn more.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

The FAFSA Simplification Act and FUTURE Acts made significant changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the federal financial aid systems and procedures. The redesigned FAFSA form is the most ambitious and significant redesign of the federal student aid application and delivery in decades, and will simplify how students, parents and other educational stakeholders use the FAFSA form starting this year.  

Here are 10 things to know now about the changes that are taking place:

1: The 2024-2025 FAFSA opens in December 2023

Because of all of the changes to the application and the FAFSA processing system, the FAFSA application will be delayed from the usual October 1 availability to late December 2023. 

2: The FSA ID is more important than ever!

To start the FAFSA, an FSA ID is required for all contributors on the application – student, student’s spouse, parent(s). Everyone who attempts to use their FSA ID to log into the 2024-25 FAFSA will go through a multifactor authentication process. Individuals without social security numbers will be able to obtain an FSA ID.

3: The FAFSA Application is Simpler!

 The FAFSA will be reduced to just 36 questions from 108. Because FAFSA on the web is dynamic, some students won’t even be presented with all questions. Questions related to certain drug convictions and Selective Service registration have been removed. Questions introduced in the 2023-24 FAFSA about the applicant’s sex, race, and ethnicity have NO effect on federal student aid eligibility are voluntary and remain only for statistical purposes. Schools do not receive this information.

4: Role-Based form

When a student begins the FAFSA, they will be asked to identify the parent(s) or spouse who will be contributing financial information on the form. It will be crucial to enter those person(s) information as it appears in the FSA ID so that it will match and they will be able to log in and access the student’s FAFSA. Each person/role on the FAFSA will only be able to see questions related to their role. When a student logs in, they will only be able to see questions that should be answered by the student. The parent or spouse will need to log in to see the questions related to their role. Once the appropriate people have completed the questions for their role, the FAFSA will be able to be submitted. 

5: Parent included on FAFSA could change.

For a dependent student with separated parents, the parent providing the most financial support must be included on the new FAFSA. (For many students, this will align with the previous requirement of including the custodial parent – the parent living with the student).

6: Applicants unable to provide parental information.

There is aid available for students who cannot provide parental information on their FAFSA form. Student who are homeless, orphans, former foster youth, or who have other unusual circumstances that prevent them from providing parental information will benefit from the simplified questions that more efficiently determine their independent status.

7: Consenting to direct data exchange (DDX) is required.  

The FUTURE Act permits a FAFSA contributor, including an applicant for federal student aid and their parent(s), spouse, the ability to consent to the disclosure and use of their federal tax information (FTI) for purposes of determining an applicant’s eligibility for federal student aid. Through the DDX process the IRS shares federal tax information (FTI) with the Department of Education and the colleges listed on the FAFSA to calculate a Student Aid Index. Every contributor on the FAFSA is required to consent to DDX, even if they didn't file taxes, for the student to be eligible for federal financial aid.

8: The FAFSA application will calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI).  

The FAFSA previously calculated an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI more accurately describes a number used to determine aid eligibility within Federal aid programs. The calculation of the SAI differs from the needs analysis calculation for the EFC and the switch to SAI is expected to increase the number of students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.   

9: Pell grants based on income and household size.

Pell grant eligibility will be calculated based upon student dependent or independent status, state of legal residence, single parent status, family size, and adjusted gross income. Your FAFSA SAI will determine if you are eligible for a Pell grant award. 

10: Financial aid eligibility could decrease for some applicants.

The FAFSA previously divided the parent portion of the EFC by the number of household members (excluding parents) in college. The SAI will not use the number in college as a factor in calculation of eligibility. Students with siblings in college may see their aid eligibility change – as well as the aid by their siblings. When required, families will now report the value of their farms or businesses. 

What is Not Changing:

  • The FAFSA is required for federal aid consideration.  The FAFSA will be used for state and institutional aid determination as well.  It remains an annual application.  
  • Dependency status questions that determine if a student needs to provide parent(s) information on the FAFSA remain the same.  
  • The FAFSA requests tax information from the prior-prior year. Families with significant reductions in income levels can request a Special Circumstances Appeal.  
  • With the 2025-26 FAFSA and forward, the application is expected be available beginning October 1 of each year. 
  • remains the go-to source of financial aid information, from FAFSA application to repaying federal student loans.

Office of Financial Aid

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11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

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