FAFSA

2024-25 FAFSA Changes

Important changes and improvements are underway for the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These changes will simplify and streamline the process for students and families to apply for financial aid.

2024-25 FAFSA Available December 2023

Typically the FAFSA is available to file on October 1 each year. To allow time to implement these changes, the FAFSA for 2024-25 will not be available until December 2023. Federal Student Aid (FSA) will notify students and parents who have a studentaid.gov account when the launch data is determined. FSA recommends creating or reviewing your studentaid.gov login to ensure they have the most current email address. More information about the launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Key Changes

The FAFSA Simplification Act was signed by Congress in 2020 to streamline the FAFSA filing process and expand access to Federal student aid. The following includes key changes to the FAFSA but is not a comprehensive list. For more information on the FAFSA Simplification act, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

The FAFSA will be shorter and more user friendly.

The maximum number of questions has been reduced from 108 to 46.

Students may list up to 20 schools.

Students may list up to 20 colleges and universities on the FAFSA where they were previously limited to 10.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI)

Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and they’ll experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid. The number of family members is removed from the calculation, and a separate set of criterion is used to determine eligibility for Federal Pell Grants. The SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

The definition of custodial parent has changed.

For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.

Expanded access to the Federal Pell Grant.

Eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant will now be linked to family size and the federal poverty level.  Families making less than 175% and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI.

IRS Direct Data Exchange will be required by all applicants.

Where possible, the law mandates that the IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) be used to determine SAI and Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Students must give consent to use the DDX to receive Federal financial aid. Income and tax information will be important directly from the IRS for nearly all students and families, simplifying the process of applying for financial aid and reducing the number of corrections.

What Isn’t Changing?

  • A FAFSA is required for all degree-seeking students to determine their eligibility for Federal, State and institutional financial aid.
  • The FAFSA deadline for State and institutional financial aid for 2024-25 is March 2, 2024.
  • The FAFSA will use tax and income information from two years prior, which means the 2024-25 FAFSA will use 2022 tax and income information.
  • The general types of financial aid available to students will remain the same.
  • The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race, and ethnicity will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and are included for statistical purposes and data collection only. In fact, University of Redlands won't receive this data from the FAFSA.

Questions and Contact Information

We understand that these significant changes may generate a lot of questions for you and your family. Student Financial Services will provide updated information regarding the new FAFSA as soon as it is available. We appreciate your patience as we await further guidance from the Federal Department of Education.

Click here to view the most recent update from the US Department of Education.

If you have questions at this time, please contact Student Financial Services sfs@redlands.edu or (909) 748-8047.