We have some exciting news for you! The 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is undergoing major changes that will make it easier and more accessible for you to apply for federal financial aid.

Some of the benefits of the new FAFSA® process are:

  • Available in December 2023
  • A shorter and simpler application form, with only 36 questions instead of 108!
  • Expanded eligibility and reduced barriers for different types of students and families
  • Increased access to Federal Pell Grants, which do not have to be repaid

Key Changes Explained

These are some of the notable changes that are coming to the 2024-2025 FAFSA® form:

  • Simplification: The FAFSA® will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 36; but some students will not be subjected to all 36 if some questions are deemed as no longer relevant.
  • Tax/Income Data: In the past, students would enter their tax information (or their parent(s) if they were dependents) on the form themselves, or with using an IRS Data Retrieval Tool. However, all persons listing tax information on the FAFSA® will be required to use the IRS Direct Data exchange (DDX) to share tax information or confirm non-filing status. This change also requires the student, spouse, and/or all parents with tax data reported to generate an FSA ID.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI): FAFSA® previously calculated an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which ranged from “zero to 999,999”. Now, the FAFSA® will produce the Student Aid Index programs and compare them to other students. This number can also be negative, with the minimum SAI being -1500.
  • Questions being removed: The questions removed are as follows (but not limited to):
    • The student’s housing choice
    • The student’s interest in Federal Work-Study (FWS) employment
    • Taxable earnings from need-based employment
    • The student’s driver’s license number and state
    • The highest school completed by the student’s parent (it will now ask whether either parent attended college)
    • The college degree or certificate a student will be working on when they begin the award year
    • Whether the student or parent filed IRS Schedule 1
    • The dislocated worker

A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on an applicant’s FAFSA® including:

  1. The student
  2. The student’s spouse (if applicable)
  3. A biological or adoptive parent
  4. The spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA® – the stepparent

The student will need their contributor’s name, date or birth, social security number (SSN), and email address in order to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA®. The contributors will also need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA®.

All contributors are required to have an FSA ID and to provide consent to have their Federal Tax Information transferred from the IRS to be used by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use their information to determine a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid. Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked. The consent is necessary, even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country.

If a dependent student’s parents are unmarried and living together, both parents will be contributors. They need to have separate FSA IDs and both need to provide consent.

Dependent students whose parents filed their U.S. income tax return as Married Filing Jointly only require one parent contributor to complete their FAFSA®.

If a student’s parents filed separately, both parents will be considered contributors and therefore need separate FSA IDs, and both must provide consent.

If an independent student is married and filed separately, both individuals are contributors, must have FSA IDs, and must provide consent for the student to be eligible for Title IV aid.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA® form. Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college and experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid. Although the methodology is changing, the calculation of the SAI is different from the EFC calculation. This, in return, can cause a change for a student’s aid eligibility at the federal, state, and institutional level.

 The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that a college’s financial aid office uses to determine how much federal student aid the student would receive if the student attended the school. This number results from the information that the student provides in their FAFSA® form.

The Federal Student Aid Estimator estimates the SAI.

No benefit for having sibling(s) in college: The “sibling discount” will be the biggest change in aid eligibility for some students, as this is being eliminated. The determination for this to be eliminated was made by Congress, and can only be changed by Congress.

The FAFSA® Simplification Act will expand the Federal Pell Grant to more students and link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level. New eligibility formulas and funding are estimated to increase Pell Grant recipients by nearly 15%

Eligibility for the Pell Grant will be determined in three steps:

  1. Maximum Pell Grant – Applicants may qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI), and poverty guidelines. Students qualifying for a Maximum Pell Grant will have an SAI between negative $1,500 and $0
    1. Non-filers – Independent students (and spouse, if applicable) tax non-filers and dependent children of non-filing parent(s)
    2. Children of certain deceased veterans and public safety officers – Students under age 33 whose parent(s) died in the armed forces after September 11, 2001 or students under age 33 who parent(s) died in the line of duty as a public safety officer
  2. Student Aid Index (SAI) – Applicants who do not qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant may still qualify for a SAI-Calculated Pell Grant if their SAI is less than the maximum for the award year. The applicant’s Pell Grant award for full-time enrollment will be equal to the maximum Pell Grant for the award year, minus the SAI.
  3. Minimum Pell Grant – Applicants whose SAI is greater than the Maximum Pell Grant award for the award year may still qualify for a Pell Grant, based on family size, AGI, and poverty guidelines

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 awarded to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the federal poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell Awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI.

Inclusion of family farms or small businesses: When required, families will now report the value of their farms or businesses. While this inclusion continues to be debated in Congress, it will be required to be reported for appropriate families on the 2024-25 FAFSA® and can influence the SAI.

Students with unusual circumstances are defined as: A student whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of unusual circumstances, which prevents the student from contacting parents.

The circumstances could include:

  1. Human trafficking, as described by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq)
  2. Legally granted refugee or asylum status and are separated from their parents, or their parents are displaced in a foreign country
  3. Parental abandonment or estrangement and have not been adopted
  4. Abusive or threatening environment or student or parent incarceration and contact with parents would pose a risk to the student

Other students will continue to qualify as independent on their FAFSA® form and are not required to provide parental information if they:

  1. Are active-duty military
  2. Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  3. Were an orphan, ward of the court, or in foster care at the age of 13 or older
  4. Are or were a legally emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by a court in the student’s state of legal residence
  5. Are a student unaccompanied and either homeless or self-supporting and at a risk of being homeless

Here are some things that are not changing:

  1. FAFSA® will still be required for federal aid consideration, along with consideration for Adelphi University to determine a student’s eligibility for institutional need-based aid and state aid awarding. The FAFSA® is required to be submitted annually for all enrolling and re-enrolling students
  2. Questions introduced in 2023-2024 about the applicant’s sex, race, and ethnicity have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and remain only for statistical purposes
  3. Dependency status questions that determine a student’s dependency on the FAFSA® will remain the same
  4. The FAFSA® will request tax information from the prior year. Families with significant reduction in income levels can review our special circumstances page and appeal for more assistance
  5. Our degree-seeking students will be eligible for student loan amounts assuming they complete the FAFSA® and are not in default on their previous student loans
  6. Because some aid programs are awarded for a first-come, first-serve basis, an early FAFSA® application received priority consideration for limited funding sources

Additional Information can be found at: studentaid.gov.  The 2024–25 FAFSA® form will be available in December 2023.




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