Student Financial Aid

February 22, 2024

2024-25 FAFSA and FAFSA Simplification

Update February 22nd:

To accommodate the delayed availability and technical issues students/families are experiencing with the 24-25 FAFSA, we want to remind you that the OSFA Priority Target Date for FAFSA/WAFSA has been extended to February 28th, 2024. We recommend that you submit your financial aid application as early as possible, before the 2/28/2024 priority date, so we can determine your financial aid eligibility in a timely manner.  Due to these FAFSA delays, OSFA will internally adjust our priority target date to include students who were unable to start their FAFSA by February 28 and ensure you are included in our priority group.  We ask that you complete your FAFSA as soon as possible during the first weeks of March so that we can prepare an award offer for you as soon as possible.

Update January 5th:

As you might have heard by now, there have been some delays and technical challenges with the U.S. Department of Education’s “soft-launch” of the 2024-2025 FAFSA which became available on December 31st, 2023. You may have experienced a wait time, technical issues, and/or an inability to access the application as a result.  

We understand that the Department of Education’s delays and technical issues can cause concern for you and your family. We want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation and staying informed of any other possible delays or issues with the 24-25 FAFSA. Our office has been informed that the FAFSA application system should become more accessible over the next several days, and we appreciate your patience during this time as you continue to complete and submit your 24-25 FAFSA application.    

To accommodate the delayed availability and technical issues students/families are experiencing with the 24-25 FAFSA, we want to remind you that the OSFA Priority Filing Date for FAFSA has been extended to February 28th, 2024. We recommend that you submit the 24-25 FAFSA as early as possible, before the 2/28/2024 priority date, so we can determine your financial aid eligibility in a timely manner.  

Please note that the Department of Education has announced there will be delays in transferring your completed FAFSA application to colleges/universities. After you complete and submit your FAFSA, you should receive an email acknowledgement from Federal Student Aid (this message will be sent to the email address you use for FAFSA). However, our office will not be able to receive your application at UW, see any of your submitted FAFSA information, or advise on aid eligibility until a later time (currently estimated to be in February 2024).  

We will continue to keep you informed with periodic updates and reminders.

 


 

The FAFSA application and delivery system is changing for 2024-25.  As a result, the application was made available later than usual in the end of December. To accommodate this later availability, we are extending our FAFSA/WASFA priority filing date to February 28th, 2024. Please stay tuned for more details as they are released.  

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs. 

These changes are aimed at making it easier for students and their families to apply for financial aid with a more streamlined application process.  

Key changes 

  • Availability – the FAFSA was made available in late December 2023. 
  • More streamlined application process with fewer questions, and an easier way to transfer the tax information directly from IRS. 
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 
  • New terminology – you will notice new terminology being used in the application and aid eligibility process. 

Terminology changes 

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

Changes to the application 

  • The number of questions on the FAFSA will be reduced. 
  • 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 will no longer be the parent with whom you lived with the most over the past 12 months. 
  • Each contributor (student, student spouse, parent(s) and/or stepparent) will have to provide consent 
  • If any contributor does not provide their consent the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and we will not be able to determine your eligibility for financial aid. 
  • Foster, homeless, and unaccompanied youth—as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information—will be able to complete the form with a provisional independent student determination and receive a calculated SAI. 
  • Students can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application. 

Other changes 

  • A direct data share with the IRS will replace what is currently known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). 
  • Resources for completing the FAFSA form will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States. 

Watch the “What’s Changed for the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form?” for more details.

Please continue to check back as we will update this page as we receive more information so we can continue to help you and your family navigate the new application process.