Due to the passing of theFAFSA Simplification Actenacted by congress, Federal Student Aid is rolling out significant changes to the FAFSA in phases, withthe largest improvements coming in the 2024-2025 aid year.
This first major redesign in over 40 years is intended to make applying for federal student aid easier for students, with fewer questions and fewer requirements to streamline the process.
Summary of Changes
Starting December 31st, 2023, the Department of Education began its"soft launch"of the newly designed2024-2025 FAFSA. During this time, the FAFSA will be available as the Department monitors and addresses any potential issues. If you can complete the FAFSA now, you will not need to resubmit the form once the "soft launch" period ends.
We advise to check theFAFSA web pageperiodically if it is temporarily unavailable when you try to begin.
The Department of Education announced that FAFSA submissions will not be provided to student's selected colleges until early to mid March, 2024.
Due to this processing delay, our Student Financial Aid office cannot confirm that your FAFSA has been received until mid to late March. Check your IU email and your To Do List for additional information regarding the status of your FAFSA.
The new termcontributorhas been introduced to the 2024-2025 FAFSA, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form.
The new FAFSA is student driven, so that means the student's answers on their section will determine who will be a contributor. Contributors, in addition to the student and parent, may now includethe student’s spouse or the parent’s spouse (stepparent).Contributors will each log in to the FAFSA separatelywith their own FSA ID account, to complete each of their specific sections and questions that only they can view.
View theFAQsbelow to see how the FAFSA will identify which contributors you will need to include.
Students andall contributors must create an FSA account, known as an FSA ID, to complete and sign the online 2024-2025 FAFSA.
The ability to create an FSA ID has historically been limited only to parents who can be verified with a Social Security Number (SSN). However on the 2024-2025 FAFSA,all parent and spousecontributors without a SSN may now create one,using the Department of Education's newly developed system to validate their identity against credit bureau data.
Users with a SSN will need to wait 1-3 days for their FSA account to be verified by the Social Security Administration before starting the FAFSA.Users without a SSN will be verified immediately if their data aligns.
Rather than importing tax information into the FAFSA using the previously used IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), contributors will nowconsentto transfer their tax information through theIRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX).This will reduce the number of financial questions that most families will see on the FAFSA.
The student andall contributors must provide this consentand approval on the FAFSAin order to be eligible for federal student aid. Providing consent even applies to contributors who don't have a Social Security Number, didn't file 2022 taxes, or who filed taxes outside the US.
The methodology used to measure a family's ability to pay for college and their resulting financial aid eligibility, currently known as theExpected Family Contribution (EFC), has been replaced with theStudent Aid Index (SAI).
The new SAI formula will result in a new eligibility calculation for Federal Pell Grants and redefine a minimum need determination of SAI to be as low as -1500, in order to better target students with the highest need.
Adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation and eligibility formulas are estimated toincrease the number of Pell Grant recipientsby nearly 15%.
Eligibility for federal student aid will also be expanded by removing the questions related to Selective Service registration and drug conviction status, and restoring access to Pell grant for incarcerated students under specific programs.
Homeless, orphan, former foster youth, and unaccompanied youth—as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information because of unusual circumstances—will be able to complete the FAFSA with aprovisional independent status determinationand receive a calculated Student Aid Index (SAI).
Once the FAFSA is submitted, students can thenreach out to the Student Financial Aidoffice to request that their independent status determination be approved based on supporting documentation. The student will receive an automatic renewal of the independent status (starting in 2025-2026) as long as their circumstances remain unchanged.
All student and parent/spouse contributors are only allowed 45 days of inactivity on any incomplete section of the FAFSA before the FAFSA will be deleted. Once deleted, the FAFSA will need to be restarted by the student.
Students may now send their FAFSA to up to 20 colleges
The FAFSA will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents
Language-specific resources and support will also be available from FSA Information Center 1-800-433-4243 (1-800 4FED-AID)
Once the FAFSA has been started, students will now be able to view the status, including contributor progress, on their FSA account
Once all required data has been provided and all sections have been signed, any contributor can submit the FAFSA form
After the FAFSA form is processed, a contributor is able to correct or update only their sections of the student’s application
The results of the FAFSA form will be sent to the applicant in a document is now known as theFAFSA Submission Summary (FSS), formerly the Student Aid Report (SAR)
A demographic data survey will be added to the FAFSA with questions related to race, ethnicity, and gender. The survey will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and is used only for statistical purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Contributors & Creating an FSA ID
Contributor is a new term introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA. It refers to anyone asked to provide information on a FAFSA including:
the student's spouse
the biological or adoptive parent(s)
the spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA (stepparent)
The student's answers on their section of the FAFSA will determine which additional contributors (such as parents or spouse) will be required to provide their information. An invitation will go out to these contributors once the following information is entered on the FAFSA:
*For any contibutor who was married and filed jointly on their taxes in 2022 and are no longer married to that spouse, or who have married a different spouse, will be required to self-report their tax information instead of using the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). Consent on the FAFSA must still be provided in this circumstance.
Contributor receives an email informing them that they've been identified as a contributor by the student.
Contributor creates a FSA account if they don't already have one.
Contributor logs in to account using their FSA ID account username and password.
Contributor reviews information about completing their section of the FAFSA form.
Contributor provides the required personal and financial information on their own sections of the FAFSA form.
Families may create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website anytime before the starting their FAFSA. This applies to all student, parent, or spouse contributors, with or without a Social Security Number (SSN).
Yes. Starting in 2024-2025, parents and spouses who are not U.S. Citizens and are without a Social Security Number (SSN) must now create an Federal Student Aid account.
The process of creating an FSA IDfor those without a SSN is now available, using the Department of Education's newly developed system to validate identity against credit bureau data, however users may experience outages and delays. Contributors will provide theirName, Date of Birth, Mailing Address, Email Address; along with validating several follow up questions. If you answer these questions correctly, you’ll be able to use your account immediately to complete the FAFSA.
An FSA IDcreated using a Social Security Number (SSN)will take around 1-3 days to be verified and ready to use to complete a FAFSA. We recommend creating it a few days before starting the FAFSA .
An FSA IDcreated without using a SSNwill be immediately verified and is ready to use to complete the FAFSA instantly.
As a result of the Future Act, all contributors are required to have an FSA ID and provide consent in order to:
Have their federal tax information (FTI) transferred from the IRS
Have their tax data used to determine the student's eligibility for aid
Allow the Department of Education to share their tax information with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV aid.
Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked in that award year. This consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country.
If a required contributordoes not provideconsentto have their tax information transferred to the FAFSA form, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated andthe studentwill not be eligible for federal student aid.
Note: Being a contributordoes notimplicate financial responsibility for a student's education.
If any contributor does not provide consent on the FAFSA, the student will not be eligible for any Title IV aid.
Students will be given the opportunity on the FAFSA to indicate they would like to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan in these situations.
Once an electronic FAFSA is started online, all contributors must complete it online. That means that if a electronic signature was left missing, the contributor that needs to sign the application must log in again with their FSA ID.
If a student chooses to complete a paper form, all contributors will need to provide consent, wet (physical) signatures, and mail the application to the Department of Education address listed on the paper application. This method is not recommended due to complexity and increased processing time.
2022 tax information and earningswill be reported on the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Learn more about what documents you will want to have on hand to complete your FAFSA accurately by watching the video below.
Family size reported on the FAFSA will be automatically calculated based on the number of individuals claimed on the tax return (if filed). If your family size on the FAFSA needs to be reported differently than the number claimed on your taxes,there will be an option to correct the number manuallyafter consent has been provided.
Note: A contributor cannot see what family size was reported from the IRS as that information is protected - be sure to have a copy of your tax return on hand to check who was claimed.
There are a several instances where the application will allow you to self-report if federal tax information cannot be accurately transferred through the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). Examples of when self-reporting is necessary:
Individuals who were married and filed jointly with the IRS in 2022 and are no longer married to that spouse, or who have married a different spouse
Individuals with foreign income or who only file foreign tax returns, as the IRS does not link to foreign tax authorities. They will instead need to manually input their income and tax data by converting foreign currency to U.S. dollars and entering the resulting amounts in the comparable fields from U.S. tax returns, such as adjusted gross income, income tax paid, and any untaxed income.
The contributor is a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft
The contributor indicates on the online FAFSA that they have not filed a tax return but plan to.
While manually entering tax information into the FAFSA is allowable in these and several other situations, consent must still be provided.
The Data Retrieval Tool (used on the 2023-2024 FAFSA) is an optional tool to transfer your tax information on to the FAFSA, while consent to transfer tax information using the Direct Data Exchange (on the 2024-2025 FAFSA) is required for eligibility.
The Direct Data Exchange uses an improved process to automatically match a participant with the IRS, meaning a participant will no longer be directed to go on to the IRS website to enter their exact mailing address from their tax return to get a match before data is transferred.
SAI & Pell
Yes, students and counselors may utilize the Federal Student Aid Estimator to find out how much federal student aid a student may be eligible for starting with the 2024–2025 award year based on an estimated Student Aid Index (SAI).
The Maximum Pell Grant award for the 2024-2025 aid year has not been released by the Department of Education. Future updates are expected early next year.
The Maximum Pell Grant award for the 2023-24 aid year is $7,395.
The Scheduled Pell Award is the calculated award amount a student can receive during an academic year if they attend full-time (12 hours). Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, this award is calculated in three ways.
Maximum Pell Grant - Automatically calculated when a student has a Student Aid Index (SAI) between –1500 and 0.
Student Aid Index (SAI) Calculation - Used for students who don’t automatically qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant, but have a calculated SAI that is less than the Maximum Pell Grant award for the award year. Calculation: The Maximum Pell Grant for the award year minus (-) the student's SAI = the student’s Scheduled Pell award.
Minimum Pell Grant - Students whose calculated SAI is greater than the Maximum Pell Grant award for the award year may still be eligible for a Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income, and poverty guidelines
Your Scheduled Pell Award will be paid out each semester based on the number of credits you are enrolled in:
Those enrolled full-time (12 hours) will receive their full Scheduled Pell Award
Those enrolled less than 12 hours will multiply theirScheduled Pell Award by the percentages shown below to get the total prorated pell award that will pay out for the semester. This percentage determination is known asEnrollment Intensity.
12 (or more)
The new Student Aid Index (SAI) includes several changes in the calculation used to determine aid:
The number of family members in college is no longer considered in the calculation, but it remains a required question on the form
Child support received will now count as an asset
Family farms and small businesses will now count as assets - with the net worth of businesses and farms ofany sizeincluded
Families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) greater than $60,000 will be required to report asset information
Yes, the 2024-2025 FAFSA changes will cause a delay in the calculations and notifications from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for all O’Bannon and 21st Century recipients.