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. One of the changes is the change in terminology. Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 

All college students are expected to contribute towards their education costs. How much you and your family will be expected to contribute depends on your financial situation — and is what is called your Student Aid Index (SAI).

Your SAI is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. The SAI is used to determine the amount of financial aid that you are eligible for.

The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate your SAI. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, and  assets all are considered in the formula. The size of your family is also factored into the formula.

Your SAI is not the amount of money your or your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.

SAI Estimator

For aid applications prior to 2024-2025, Expected Family Contribution (EFC) was used to determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible for. Please see this page for details.