Federal Student Aid (FSA) has made significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process, including changes to questions and a new eligibility calculation formula. It is important students are aware of these changes so they can better prepare for applying for aid such as scholarships from The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Below is an overview of some of the upcoming changes:
- Change in start date: The start date for the 2024-2024 FAFSA will become available in December 2023 instead of October 1, 2023. The FAFSA is expected to return to a start date of October 1 with the 2025-2026 FAFSA.
- Fewer questions: The number of questions on the FAFSA is decreasing from 108 to 49.
- No more EFC, Now SAI: The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) used to calculate the amount of need-based financial aid a student is eligible for will now be known as the Student Aid Index (SAI).
- Discount for multiple children in college eliminated: The number of children in college in a family is no longer being taken into consideration for SAI. This change will reduce financial eligibility for families with more than one student enrolled in college at the same time.
- Student Aid Report becomes FAFSA Submission Summary: The document that gives a student basic information about their eligibility for federal and financial aid will now be known as the FAFSA Submission Summary.
- Creation of roles: The new form allows users to fill out only the portion of the form pertinent to them. Students must fill out the application and invite parents/adopted parents/spouse in as contributors.
- Consent required for Federal Tax Information (FTI): If a student or contributor DO NOT provide consent to have their FTI transferred into FAFSA, the student will NOT be eligible for aid even if it is manually entered.
Knowing of these upcoming changes, TFEC has three recommended steps a student can take to make sure their application for our scholarships is not affected.
- Learn about the changes to the form.
Reading this article is a start, but we recommend doing further research to fully understand the changes coming for FAFSA. Below are some great resources to better understand the upcoming changes:
Better FAFSA Better Future Roadmap: https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/topics/fafsa-simplification-information/2024-25-fafsa-roadmap
FSA Knowledge Center: https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center
2024-25 Draft Student Aid Index (SAI) and Pell Grant Eligibility Guide: https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/library/handbooks-manuals-or-guides/2022-11-21/2024-25-draft-student-aid-index-sai-and-pell-grant-eligibility-guide-updated-aug-25-2023
- Make sure each contributor knows their part.
The new form design allows users to fill out only the portion of the form pertinent to them. Each role identified as required on a particular FAFSA form completes their own section. It is important that each contributor knows their role as all users identified as required on a particular FAFSA form will be prompted to provide consent to retrieve their FTI from the IRS. If any contributor does not provide consent to have their FTI, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a SAI will not be calculated.
- Start as soon as possible!
When the FAFSA form opens, TFEC recommends completing the form as soon as possible. When applying for TFEC scholarships, a student must submit the FAFSA Submission Summary so waiting to apply for FAFSA may cause a delay in your scholarship application. The new process could cause delays.
Questions regarding our scholarships? Get in touch with us at 717.236.5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.