Skip to main content

What You Need to Know: 2024-2025 FAFSA Changes and How to Prepare

By: TxCAN   |   May 2023

Big changes are coming to the FAFSA next year! In this blog, TxCAN highlights some of the FAFSA changes for the 2024-2025 cycle and how practitioners can begin to prepare.

Over the last few months, you may have heard rumblings about FAFSA changes on the horizon for next year’s financial aid season. On March 21st,  Federal Student Aid released the Better FAFSA Implementation Roadmap, which has provided some clarity for the release of the FAFSA application, demos, and resources. In this blog, TxCAN will be breaking down some of the changes practitioners need to be aware of before the start of the 2024-25 FAFSA Cycle and how they can begin to plan for some of these changes.

Things to know before the end of the 2022-2023 school year:

  1.  The 2024-2025 FAFSA form will be released in December 2023.  

 Due to changes with FAFSA Simplification that need to be completed before launching, Federal Student Aid announced on March 21st that the 2024-25 FAFSA form would be released in December 2023. A firm release date will be announced long before December and shared as soon as the exact date is available.
  1. Everyone will need an FSA ID, including parents without a social security number.

In the past, students and parents were able to access the FAFSA form with their name and social security number and then would need to have an FSA ID or a signature page to complete the form. However, starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA, students and parents will not be able to access the FAFSA form without an FSA ID set up prior to starting the form. This means that parents that are not U.S. citizens or residents will also need to create an FSA ID.
The process for obtaining an FSA ID for individuals without a Social Security number will be released by August 2023 and automated to the greatest extent possible.
  1. A Role-Based Form - students and parents will only see their questions.
Currently, when a student or parent logs in to the FAFSA, they have access to the full form for both the student and parent sections. That will no longer be the case next year. Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, each person on the FAFSA will only be able to see questions related to their role. When a student logs in, they will only be able to see questions that should be answered by the student, and the parent or spouse will need to log in to see the questions related to their role. The form will not be able to be submitted until all the appropriate people have completed the questions for their roles.
So how will this work? When a student is completing the FAFSA, the form will ask who else will contribute information to the form, such as a parent or spouse, and request their information and email address. The parent or spouse will then be sent a communication indicating that there is a FAFSA that needs their attention.

How to Prepare:
  • With the FAFSA two-month opening delay, practitioners can still take advantage of that time to work on the creation of FSA IDs. This will be beneficial in kickstarting the process for everyone that will be completing the FAFSA: students, and ALL parents.
  • Begin editing your FSA ID sheets to include space for students and both parents. Make sure to include space for email addresses.
  • Start collecting parent contact information, this means making sure all Class of 2024 parents have emails they can access. This will be helpful to them not only for the FSA ID creation but also for communication through the financial aid process.
  • Consider collaborating with community organizations and local IHEs throughout the summer to assist in the FSA ID process ahead of the new school year.

Things to know when filling out the FAFSA Application this coming December

  1. Students will be able to list more colleges on the FAFSA application

Students will be able to list up to 20 colleges on the 2024-25 FAFSA application.
  1. Replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI)
The EFC terminology is being replaced by SAI. The Student Aid Index better reflects the output from the FAFSA as an index, not as a reflection of what a family can or will pay. SAI could be as low as -$1500, allowing the neediest students to receive aid in excess of the Cost of Attendance
  1. Student Aid Index (SAI) Formula Changes
Family size (not household size anymore) will be based on the number of people claimed as exemptions on tax forms filed for the people being reported on the FAFSA. There will be an option to modify that number if it is no longer an accurate reflection of family size.
SAI will no longer be divided by number in college. With the number in college removed from the formula, many students may have SAI double or triple with no change in family income.
Parent info to be provided on the FAFSA will no longer be defined as the primary custodial parent. The new definition is “parent which provided the greater portion of the student’s financial support.”

How To Prepare:
  • Attend a uAspire FAFSA Simplification Informational Webinar - This free webinar explores key changes coming to the 2024-25 FAFSA form. We're closely following FAFSA simplification developments to understand how it will impact students and families. We'll share what we learn, answer questions based on the information available, and share resources for further learning.
May 17 at 12 pm ET/9 am PT
June 14 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT
July 12, at 12 pm ET/9 am PT
August 16 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT
  • Review the following materials as they are released:
    • The Pell Grant Look-Up Tables will be released by May 2023. These tables will show the eligibility thresholds for minimum and maximum Pell Grants by household size and adjusted gross income. This early awareness tool will help students and families understand the federal grant aid that may be available to them long before they are able to complete the FAFSA and receive their SAR.
    • The Better FAFSA preview will be available by July 2023. This tool will allow counselors and students to see the process for applying for federal student aid in advance. It will be accompanied by training materials, including screenshots, to help college access and success counselors prepare to support students through the new process.
    • The process for obtaining an FSA ID for individuals without a Social Security number will be released by August. Applicants for FSA IDs will be able to verify their identity through the TransUnion Credit Bureau or through other electronic means.
    • Keep an eye out for updates from the Department of Education here.
The Texas College Access Network (TxCAN) connects and supports college access initiatives across Texas, with the goal of increasing access to college and certificate programs.