What's Changed for the 2024-25 FAFSA Form?

Contributors are anyone asked to provide information on a student’s FAFSA. This may include the student, a student’s parents (biological, adoptive, or step), or a student’s spouse.

This is dependent on a student’s dependency status based on FAFSA questions.

  • For students considered independent:
    • Student plus their spouse (if married).
  • Dependent Students:
    • Student & both biological or adoptive parents if married
    • Student & both biological or adoptive parents if unmarried but living together
    • Student & parent providing the most financial support.

If the student’s biological or adoptive parents are divorced from each other, but the parent that provides more support is remarried, the step-parent will also be considered a contributor.

A contributor will need to provide their biographical and financial information on a student’s FAFSA after receiving an invitation from the student.

  1. Contributors receive an email informing that they have been identified as a Contributor.
  2. Contributors create an account on StudentAid.gov if they do not already have one.
  3. Contributors log in to account using their FSA ID account username and password.
  4. Contributor provides the required information on the student's FAFSA form.

Contributors must provide consent for their tax information to be imported from the IRS into the FAFSA. Without this consent a FAFSA will not be official, and the student will not be eligible for aid.

A contributor will have 45 days to complete their sections before the student’s information is cleared from the FAFSA and needs to be recompleted.

Financial Data & Required FAFSA Information

Income and tax information will be required for the FAFSA. Asset, Business, and Farm information will also be required.

Contributors will be required to consent on the student’s FAFSA. Without this consent a student's FAFSA will not be eligible for aid.

Even those who are not required to file taxes will need to provide consent for their non-tax filing status to be verified with the IRS.

  • Child support received will now count as an asset instead of income.
  • Family farms and small businesses will now count as assets.
  • 529 college savings plans are reported based on the beneficiary instead of the parental owner of the account.
Student Aid Index (SAI)
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is the new calculated number that determines a students aid eligiblity. This number replaces the previously used Expected Family Contribution.

Important: Your federal award equals Need = Cost of Attendance (COA) – Student Aid Index (SAI) – Other Financial Assistance (OFA). There is one caveat to this. If the calculated SAI is a negative number, then it is changed to $0 for the purposes of the need determination.

  • The SAI is calculated differently in conjunction with the change of the Department of Education's methodology.
  • It will range from –1500 and above
  • The number of family members in college will no longer be considered when calculating the SAI.
The SAI will determine a student's need-based aid eligibility both with the federal and state departments.
Pell Grant Changes

This is money that is awarded to those with the highest need based on their FAFSA. There will be three determinations for a Pell Grant; maximum pell grant, minimum pell grant, and a calculated Pell Grant. Click here for more information regarding the Pell Grant.

Eligibility is determined by a student’s calculated SAI from the FAFSA. The SAI will determine if a student is eligible for a maximum, minimum, or calculated Pell Grant.

At this time the Department of Education has not disclosed the awarding amounts.

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