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2024-25 Financial Aid Applications

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the upcoming 2024-2025 aid year! The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will update this page, email, and text students as additional information is made available.

FAFSA Simplification Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are the FAFSA and CADAA changing?

    “FAFSA® Simplification Act: On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.”  

    The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in the Title IV programs.

    The California Student Aid Commission uses the FAFSA questions to create the California Dream Act Application. We know CSAC is working on developing the CADAA application to make sure both are released in December.

  • What does this mean for you?
    The 2024-2025 FAFSA process is going to look a bit different than it was in the past and just like the name says, FAFSA Simplification, we expect the process to be easier for students and parents. 
  • What’s Changing?
    • The number of questions on the FAFSA has decreased from over 100 to less than 50.
    • The EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) is now the Student Aid Index (SAI).
    • Students can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.
    • Applicants will be asked to report their sex, race, and ethnicity on the FAFSA itself, but students will be offered a choice of “Prefer Not to Answer”. Schools and states won’t see responses to these questions on the FAFSA.
    • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been renamed the Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI)
    • Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents will now need to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility.
      • This consent will allow the IRS to share FTI.
      • If any party to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.
  • What are Contributors on the FAFSA 2024-25?

    Contributor is a new term introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA form. It refers to anyone asked to provide information on a student's FAFSA form, i.e., the student, the student's spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent's spouse (stepparent).

    A Contributor is NOT a grandparent, foster parents, legal guardian, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, even if they helped provide for or raise the student.

    A Contributor on the FAFSA form doesn't mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs.

    • How are Contributors determined?
      The student's or parent's answers will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information. 
    • What do Contributors need to provide?
      These contributors will be invited to complete their portion of the FAFSA form by entering their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and email address. They must also provide personal and financial information in their own sections of the FAFSA form.
    • What are the steps Contributors must follow?
      1. Contributor receives an email informing them that they've been identified as a contributor.
      2. Contributor creates a account if they don't already have one.
      3. Contributor logs in to account using their FSA ID  account username and password.
      4. Contributor reviews information about completing their section of the FAFSA form.
      5. Contributor provides the required information on the student's FAFSA form.
    • What if I am a Contributor and don't want to provide my information in my student's FAFSA?
      Being a contributor does not mean you are financially responsible for paying tuition and fees for the student. If a required contributor refuses to provide their information, it will result in an incomplete FAFSA form, and the student will become ineligible for federal student aid.
    • What if my parents are divorced? Who is the contributor to my FAFSA?

      Students that live with a single/divorced/widowed parent and receive most support from that parent, will report only one parent on the FAFSA.

    • Why does the FAFSA 2024-25 require consent from students and contributors?

      According to the Future Act, all students and contributors must provide consent to the following:

      • Have their federal tax information transferred directly into the FAFSA® form via direct data exchange with the IRS;
      • Have their federal tax information used to determine the student's eligibility for federal student aid; and
      • Allow the U.S. Department of Education to share its federal tax information with postsecondary institutions and state higher education agencies for use in awarding and administering financial aid.

      Important: Even if students or contributors don't have a Social Security number, didn't file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the U.S., they still need to provide consent.

    • What if I don't want to provide consent as a student or a required contributor?
      • If a student or required contributor doesn't provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred into the FAFSA® form, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid—even if they manually enter tax information into the FAFSA form.
      • Information about how federal tax information will be used and the consequences of not providing consent will be included on the FAFSA form.
      • Legal parents must provide consent to transfer federal tax information, even if one of the parents didn't file or had no income. If parents fail to provide consent, the student won't be eligible to receive federal student aid.

  • Changes to Calculating Your Aid Eligibility:

    Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and they will experience a change in the calculation used to determine aid.

    • The new need analysis formula:
      • removes the number of family members in college from the calculation
      • allows a minimum Student Aid Index of -$1,500
      • implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grant.
    • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
    • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in their need analysis calculation.
  • What can you do now to prepare?
    • Mark your calendar for December 2023 – we’ll update this page once we know the official date that you can complete your 2024-2025 FAFSA.
    • Create your FAFSA ID today. How do I or other contributors create an FSA ID? 
      To create an FSA ID, you'll need your Social Security number (SSN). Other information required is full name and date of birth. You'll also need to create a memorable username and password and complete challenge questions and answers to retrieve your account information if you forget it. You'll be required to provide your email address or mobile phone number when you make your FSA ID. Providing a mobile phone number and/or email address that you have access to will make it easier to log in to ED online systems and allow you to verify your FSA ID before using it on the FAFSA and additional account recovery options.
    • This Federal Student Aid video can help create a step-by-step FSA ID.


Federal Student Aid: What is the FAFSA Simplification Act? | Federal Student Aid