Student Financial Aid

March 13, 2024

2024-25 FAFSA and FAFSA Simplification

As you may know, the FAFSA application and delivery system is changing for 2024-25. 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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the changes to the FAFSA 2024-2025?

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.

How can I get started with my FAFSA?

If you don’t already have one, please make sure to create your FSA ID—and remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form when it’s available.

Find out if your parent(s) or spouse will need to be contributors (contribute their info on your FAFSA form).

If your parent(s) or spouse will need to contribute to your form, make sure each contributor creates their own FSA ID. Even if a contributor doesn’t have a Social Security number, they will be able to create an account when the 2024–25 form goes live.

Watch “Preparing for the FAFSA Form” playlist to understand what information and documents you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA form.

My family member does not have an SSN and can’t complete the FAFSA. What should we do?

We are aware of the issues with accessing the FAFSA application for students whose family members include a parent or spouse without a Social Security Number (SSN). In the past applicants have been able to complete the FAFSA by entering all zeros for the SSN for that family member. With the changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA all contributors are now required to create an FSA ID, including contributors without an SSN. Unfortunately, this process is not working properly, and families have not been able to access the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

The Department of Education is working on resolving this. We ask that students wait to file the FAFSA until the process has been fixed, and students can file the FAFSA electronically. Paper FAFSAs will not be processed until after the electronic submissions are processed, and therefore we encourage students to complete the FAFSA online.

We will continue to monitor this situation, and we will let you know when the Department of Education has resolved the issue.  We will adjust our internal process to accommodate students who experienced difficulties completing the FAFSA by Feb. 28.

Who is a contributor on the FAFSA form?

Contributor is a new term being introduced on the 2024–25 FAFSA form. A contributor is anyone (you, your spouse, your biological or adoptive parent, or your parent’s spouse) who is required to provide information on the FAFSA form, sign the FAFSA form, and provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred directly from the IRS into the form. For more detailed information, please see this page.

Watch the “Who Is a Contributor on the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form?” for more details.

What is consent, and why is it needed for the FAFSA form?

Each contributor (students, spouses, and parents) will be required to consent to the new data transfer from the IRS to the FAFSA form even if the contributor doesn’t have a Social Security Number, didn’t file 2022 taxes, or filed taxes outside the US.

The student and all contributors must provide this consent on the FAFSA form in order to be eligible for federal student aid.

Watch the  “What Does It Mean To Provide Consent and Approval on 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.