2024-25 FAFSA Changes

Last Updated: November 15, 2023
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FAFSA Simplification: What to Expect

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

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

2024-25 FAFSA Available December 31, 2023

Due to FAFSA updates and the impact on institutions, the Department of Education has stated the 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until December 31, 2023. Students can expect this delay for only this year. The FAFSA is expected to return to the normal October 1 opening date for the 2025-26 school year.

What are the key changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA?

A More User-Friendly Application

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. This streamlined format will simplify the application process for students and their families.

The IRS Direct Data Exchange

Previously known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), the new application will introduce the IDR Direct Data Exchange. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive 2022 tax information or verification of non-filing status directly from the IRS. This change reduces the need for additional questions regarding financial information.

All “Contributors” Must Provide Financial Information

Contributor: anyone asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent (s) and stepparent (s).
Each contributor must provide consent to the exchange of data between the Department of Education and the IRS. Failure to consent will cause the student to be ineligible for federal aid.

Contributor in Cases of Divorce or Separation

For students whose parents are divorced or separated, the Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent who provides you with the most financial support and no longer the parent you lived with the most over the past 12 months.

Student Aid Index (SAI)

The new FAFSA replaces the term “Expected Family Contribution (EFC)” with “Student Aid Index (SAI).” This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility.

The Number of Dependents in College

Previously, the FAFSA took into consideration the number of dependents in college within the household. This is no longer going to be included in the SAI calculation. Due to this, Bethel undergraduate students with siblings in college may see a change to their federal aid eligibility.

Family Farms Reported as Assets

Families must now report the value of their small business or family farm.

Students May List Up to 20 Colleges

Previously, the FAFSA allowed students to select 10 colleges and universities. This new application will allow students to select up to 20.

Available in More Languages

The FAFSA is currently available in English and Spanish. The 2024-25 application will be expanded to include the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States.

Terminology Changes

  • Contributor: anyone asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent(s) and stepparent(s).
  • Consent: Contributors must now consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI): SAI replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Federal Tax Information (FTI): FTI transferred directly from the IRS

How to Be Prepared

  • Create an FSA ID: Visit the Federal Student Aid website and create an FSA ID for the student and any contributors, such as parent(s) or spouse. The FSA ID will be used to access and sign the FAFSA.
    If you already have an FSA ID, there is no need to create a new one. Your existing FSA ID will continue to work.
  • Estimate your federal financial aid: For an estimate of your federal financial aid for 2024-25, you can visit the Federal Student Aid Estimator. This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024-25 and the federal aid for which you may qualify.

FAFSA Information

Apply by April 15 to receive maximum aid.

To complete the FAFSA you will need the following information:

  • An FSA ID (username/password) or an email address to create one
  • Social Security Number or Alien number
  • Date of birth
  • Federal tax information
  • Bethel School Code: 001787

Have more questions?

Feel free to contact our financial aid office with additional questions.