Have you heard? The 24-25 FAFSA is changing!
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is in the process of implementing a major overhaul of the processes and systems used to offer federal student aid, starting with the 24-25 aid year. Through the FAFSA Simplification Act, ED is completely changing the way student financial aid eligibility is determined, with the goal of simplifying the application process and expanding access to financial aid programs.
So, what does that mean for our students and families? As many of you have previously completed a FAFSA, several of the questions you’re used to seeing are no longer a part of the application. The number of questions used to determine your aid eligibility is being shortened from 108 to approximately 40 and although the number of students in the household in college question still remains on the FAFSA, it will no longer be used in the formula to determine your aid eligibility.
Starting with the 24-25 FAFSA, you’re no longer going to see your EFC once you complete the FAFSA. Federal Student Aid (FSA) is doing away with the EFC and instead using a new formula to determine aid eligibility. The Student Aid Index (SAI) will now be used in place of the EFC to help determine a student’s eligibility for federal student aid.
In addition to the replacement of the EFC, FSA is also replacing the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The new tool is called the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). The DDX will import tax information into the FAFSA directly from the IRS after the student and/or parent(s) consent to the data exchange.
Students and parents will now complete their sections of the FAFSA separately. Dependent students will add their parent’s as “contributors” to their FAFSA by entering their email into the application. Contributors will receive an email asking them to log into the FAFSA, using their own FSA ID (new users will need to create one). After logging into the FAFSA, contributors will have to give their consent for FSA to utilize their federal tax information on the FAFSA. Without consent, students will not be eligible for federal student aid or be eligible to receive an SAI. Once consent is given, contributors will enter their demographic and financial data and sign the application. If parents are married or unmarried and living together, both parents will need to complete this process. It is not until the student and all contributors complete their sections of the application, that a student’s FAFSA will be submitted to Federal Student Aid for processing. The same process will apply to the spouse of an independent student.
These are just some of the changes coming to the 24-25 FAFSA. As we receive additional information and updates from FSA, we will be sure to keep you informed through emails, presentations, our website and by updating this blog post.
Remember, the 24-25 FAFSA, will not be available on October 1. Instead, it will be available on or before December 31, 2023.
To prepare yourself for the updates to the 2024-2025 FAFSA, be sure to stay up to date. Visit studentaid.gov for more information and follow us on social media @stocktonfinaid on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We will also be sending several updates through the launch of the 24-25 FAFSA, so be sure to check your email!
In addition, join us on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 from 6-8pm for an in-person presentation detailing the new terms and processes that students and families can expect to see when completing the 24-25 FAFSA. During the presentation, we will also answer any questions students and families may have after learning about the new changes to the FAFSA. All students and families are invited to attend. Register for the in-person event here!
The presentation will also be streamed on Zoom for anyone that cannot attend in person. Register for the Zoom presentation here!
The presentation will also be recorded for those that cannot attend during this time and will be archived at stockton.edu/fafsa at a later date.
Faculty and staff were sent an email with a link to a Zoom presentation specifically for them. If you are a faculty or staff member, please refer to your email for the registration link.
Please remember, we’re in this together and it’s our goal to make the financial aid process as stress-free as possible! Feel free to contact our office at stockton.edu/contactfinaid with any questions you may have!