FAFSA Update Information

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was enacted by Congress and made significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

FAFSA Simplification Act

  • Introduces significant changes to the FAFSA application process.
  • The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Changes in how students complete the application.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

Future Act

  • Allows the Department of Education to automatically obtain federal tax information from the IRS for students, parents, and other contributors (such as a spouse or stepparent).
  • Requires consent from students and other contributors separately.  A contributor will complete his or her section of the FAFSA and consent by signing the FAFSA.

FAFSA Contributors 

Because the 2024/2025 FAFSA allows the Department of Education to automatically obtain federal tax information from the IRS for students, parents, and other contributors (such as a spouse or stepparent), each contributor must login separately and provide consent.  Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.

  • Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA.
  • Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA.
  • All Contributors–student, student’s spouse (if married), and student’s parents(s) (if a dependent student)–must provide consent to have tax data transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided by all parties, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional. It is now required.
  • For divorced or separated parents, income and assets are reported for the parent who provides the most financial support over the 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA even if you do not live with that parent or live with the other parent.  This is the parent that must provide consent on the FAFSA.

2024-2025 FAFSA Release – December 2023

Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023. This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.

Prepare for the FAFSA

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  • Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.  Use the “Determine My Contributors Tool” above and have each identified person create his or her FSAID.
    • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
    • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
  • Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December at FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid.

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