2024-2025 FAFSA Changes

What is FAFSA Simplification?

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs. Major changes to your FAFSA experience (as mandated by law) include:

  1. Replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI)
  2. Modifications to Family Definitions in FAFSA Formulas
  3. Expanding Access to Federal Pell Grants
  4. Streamlining the FAFSA Form

FAFSA Release Date

The 2024-2025 FAFSA release date is delayed and will become by December 31, 2023 11:59 PM CST, as announced by the Department of Education. The 2024-2025 FAFSA release date is not anticipated earlier than December 31st, however, further announcements will be made should an earlier release date becomes available.

This release date change is exclusive to the 2024-2025 FAFSA Form, to accommodate the extensive work required to overhaul the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. The 2025-2026 FAFSA Form is scheduled to be released October 1, 2024.

New FAFSA Experience

There are several benefits of the FAFSA Simplification Act, including a more streamlined application process and better user experience, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g. homeless and unaccompanied youth, English language learners, students from adverse and/or low-income backgrounds, etc.). Some fundamental changes include, but are not limited to the following:

The FAFSA will be shorter and more user-friendly

The FAFSA Form maximum number of questions have been reduced from 108 to 46. In some instances, some students will not be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.

Students may list up to 20 colleges

Previously, the FAFSA Form only allowed students to list up to 10 colleges and universities.

The FAFSA Form will be available in more languages

The current FAFSA is available in only English and Spanish. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, language availability will be expanded to include the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Haitian, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.)

Applicants will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange

Previously, applicants had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-2025 FAFSA, all persons on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education

Preparing for the 2024-2025 FAFSA

This is the first time there have been major changes to the FAFSA in 40 years. To prepare for your 2024-2025 FAFSA completion, please complete the following:

  1. Create Your FSA ID

Your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) will give you access to the FSA platform and is the FSA username and password you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. To create your FSA ID, you’ll need your Social Security number, mobile phone and personal email address. Unlike previous years, students and parents won’t be able to obtain an FSA ID and complete the FAFSA in one sitting, so get your FSA ID early.

  1. Gather Your Documents

Prepare to complete the FAFSA by having your documents ready ahead of time. Once again, you’ll need your Social Security number and your parents’ Social Security numbers if you’re a dependent student. You’ll also need to have your driver’s license number and tax information for yourself, your spouse (if applicable) and your parents if you’re a dependent. Records of untaxed income and information on cash, bank balances, investments and assets should also be handy. With your information readily available, you’ll be able to save time and frustration when completing the FAFSA.

  1. Know the Key FAFSA Changes for the 2024-2025 Award Year

The Better FAFSA includes several changes to streamline the application questions and improve the user experience. Here are a few key changes you should know.

  • Contributor: While the FAFSA previously referred to “parents,” the new term on the Better FAFSA is “contributor.” Contributor refers to anyone required to provide consent on the FAFSA. Possible contributors include the student, parent, other parent, and/or the student’s spouse.
  • Consent: “Consent” is a new term on the Better FAFSA. Contributor(s) must provide consent to use their information to match with the IRS, allow the IRS to disclose their federal tax information (FTI), and allow the U.S. Department of Education to use their FTI and re-disclose their FTI to schools and organizations.
  • Direct Data Exchange: “Direct Data Exchange” replaces the term “IRS Data Retrieval Tool.” With Direct Data Exchange, your federal tax information will be transferred directly from the IRS into your FAFSA form. This information will be used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. You and your contributors must provide consent for this transfer to happen.

FAFSA Completion Assistance

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships partners with the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) to ensure that your FAFSA completion needs are met. Discover the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), a dynamic program funded by the Department of Education. The EOC team’s mission is to empower qualified adults on their path to higher education. They also prioritize enhancing participants' financial and economic know-how. With counseling and educational services, EOC guide individuals seeking to enter or continue their education (admission through FAFSA completion). The passionate EOC staff is eager to support both parents and students on their educational journey. For assistance with correcting your 2023-2024 FAFSA, you may contact the SUSLA EOC team today:

Annie S. Morris
Educational Specialist, TRiO Educational Opportunity Center

2024-2025 Award Letter Availability

The Department of Education announced that student’s FAFSA submissions will not be provided to the colleges listed on the 2024-2025 FAFSA until the middle of March 2024.

This means that Southern University at Shreveport Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships cannot confirm that your FAFSA has been received and even process your financial aid award offer until a month or more after you have submitted your 2024-2025 FAFSA Form. Southern University at Shreveport Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will send out email communications once we have received your 2024-2025 FAFSA Form so that you stay informed of your progress (anticipated by the end of March 2024). Once admitted, you may also track your progress on your Banner Self-Service account.

FAFSA contributors will also receive application updates from the Department of Education, beginning the middle of March 2024. Once these notifications have been received, a contributor will have the option to submit corrections, if necessary. These notifications will be sent to the email address and/or mailing address associated with the contributor’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.

To learn more about the FAFSA Simplification, the key changes and more, visit studentaid.gov and view the Federal Student Aid YouTube channel to help answer questions you may have.  Should you have any questions, contact our office at either 318.670.9221 or financialaid@susla.edu.


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