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FAFSA Simplification

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 calculation, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

FAFSA changes for 2024-2025

FAFSA Completion Date

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA open December 2023. This is a temporary change.  In future years, the FAFSA will open on October 1st.
  • If you will be a new freshman, submit a 2024-2025 FAFSA by February 1, 2024 to receive an estimated Financial Aid Offer March 2024.
  • The Priority Deadline for all FIU students to submit a 2024-2025 remains March 1st.

Streamlined Application Process

  • The new FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

New Terminology

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, allows a minimum SAI of -1500, and implements a separate eligibility determination criterion for Federal Pell Grants.
  • The new FAFSA introduces the term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs.

Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility

  • Federal Pell Grant eligibility is expanded to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.  

Prepare for the FAFSA

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  • Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
    • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
    • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
    • If you already have an FSA ID, there is no need to create a new one.  Your existing FSA ID will continue to work.
  • For an estimate of your federal financial aid for 2024-2025, you can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator on the Federal Student Aid website. This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024-2025 and the federal aid for which you may qualify.
Last updated: September 21, 2023