You may find the information you seek in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) below.

If you still have questions, you can email our summer aid team at

Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application has been completely redesigned. As part of that redesign:

  • Some of the existing questions have been removed
  • The definition of some of the existing questions have been changed
  • Terminology has changed
  • New questions have been added

Some examples (this is not all-inclusive) of changes to the FAFSA are:

  • A new definition of who is considered the student’s parent in cases where parents aren’t married or living together.
  • Removal of the “number in college” as being part of the financial aid formula, even though the question will still be on the FAFSA.
  • Income data will come directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Individuals on the FAFSA must provide consent for their tax information to be transferred from the IRS to the FAFSA. This even includes individuals who did not file taxes, as the data exchange will allow the FAFSA to verify that. If consent is not provided, the U.S. Department of Education will not consider the FAFSA to be valid.
  • Changes how 529 college savings plans are reported.
  • Students who are required to include parental information on the FAFSA will have to go through a process on the application to invite their parent(s) to complete their portion of the application.
  • Many others…

The FAFSA will have instructions and help features contained within it to help students and parents complete the application.

There is some great news about these changes! Once you’ve logged into the FAFSA, the new design should make completing the application a much easier and faster process than what was required in any prior versions of this application. That was part of Congressional goals when making these changes with the passage of the “FAFSA Simplification Act.”

Traditionally, the new FAFSA is available on October 1st every year, but that is not the case for the 2024-25 FAFSA. This application will NOT be available until December 2023. At this time, the U.S. Department of Education has not announced the exact date the application will be available.

Once the application is available, you will be able to find it at

JMU’s FAFSA Priority Filing Date for 2024-25 is March 1, 2024. This means to be considered an on-time filer you need to have the FAFSA submitted and processed by the U.S. Department of Education no later than March 1st. You can submit the FAFSA after this date; however, submitting the application on-time could increase a student’s financial eligibility in certain situations.

Along with the development of a completely new FAFSA, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that is the output of the current FAFSA is being eliminated. The EFC will be replaced with a Student Aid Index (SAI). The formula behind calculating the SAI is completely different than the EFC. The EFC, and new SAI, give financial aid offices an indication of a student’s, and his/her family’s, ability to pay for education during the school year.

Broadly speaking, moving to the new FAFSA and SAI will create higher levels of financial need for many financial aid applicants. The new SAI, and prior EFC, is used to help JMU determine a student’s eligibility for federal, state, and institutional “need-based" financial aid. This includes grants, scholarships, work-study, and subsidized loans.

This means many students could see an increase in their eligibility for financial aid. However, there will also be students who see a decrease in their financial aid eligibility by moving to this new Congressionally mandated form and process.

  • New JMU Students in 2024-25: If you are a new student in the 2024-25 school year, the new FAFSA and SAI will be all you know as you are entering JMU at the same time this new process goes into effect.
  • Returning JMU Student in 2024-25: If you are a current student at JMU, your financial aid eligibility could look very different in 2024-25 than it has in prior years as a result of this change. We are unable to tell a student exactly how their financial aid may change for 2024-25. This evaluation will be conducted once we begin making awards for the 2024-25 school year, and will be communicated to students through their Duke's e-mail and MyMadison accounts.

Make sure that all students and parents who may be listed on the FAFSA have an FSA ID, which is the log in that will be used to sign the FAFSA and provide consent for the IRS to share tax data with the FAFSA.

If you do not have a FSA ID, please go to the “Create Account” link at the top of It can take a few days to receive your FSA ID after creating your account. It will make the FAFSA completion process easier if you have FSA ID before completing the FAFSA.

With that said, the FSA ID process has not been updated at this time to accommodate individuals who do not have a Social Security Number. The U.S. Department of Education is working on updating this process, as the new FAFSA will require FSA ID’s for all, even those listed on the FAFSA who do not have a Social Security Number. If this is you, please continue to check to see when this is available.

This Federal Student Aid video can help create a step-by-step FSA ID.

In short, completing the FAFSA will be a very different experience beginning in 2024-25. Make sure and give yourself time to identify and adjust to the changes. You will be guided for the information needed as you are completing the application once it goes live at

JMU is aware of the changes, and we will be closely monitoring the impact this has on our current student body once we begin receiving your FAFSA applications from the U.S. Department of Education.

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