The FAFSA 2024-25 is Changing

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on December 31, 2023 instead of October as it has in the past. The Department of Education, Federal Student Aid (FSA) Division, has made several significant changes to make federal aid more accessible for students and families.  If you have already successfully submitted the FAFSA, you should receive your official FAFSA Submission Summary mid-March.  Colleges and Universities will begin receiving FAFSA data in late March.  If you included our school code of 003450 on your FAFSA, we will email your University email when we receive your FAFSA data.  If you have NOT already submitted the FAFSA, we highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible.  Once we receive it, we will email your University email so please monitor your University email on a regular basis. 

FAFSA Simplification

Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year.

You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023.
    • The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
  • New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

We will continue to update this page and our Facebook and Instagram pages as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

FAFSA Changes for 2024-2025

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.

The FAFSA is introducing the new term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. 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.

If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent(s) is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA. It is not automatically the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.

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.

The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). Unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number.

Small businesses and family farms are now considered assets*.
*The Department of Education will provide more details in the coming months.

The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA, but it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.

The Student Aid Report (SAR) will now be referred to as the FAFSA Submission Summary. This is the summary submission document you receive after completing the FAFSA.

The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

Prepare for the 2024-25 FAFSA

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

  • Create or reconfirm your FSA ID. Everyone who needs to provide information on the FAFSA needs an FSA ID. This includes the student, the student's parents or stepparents (if the student is a dependent), and the student's spouse (if applicable).
  • Gather your 2022 tax information. You will need to provide your 2022 tax information for the student and their parents or stepparents, if applicable.

Steps to Complete the FAFSA:

  1. Go to studentaid.gov and log in with your FSA ID.
  2. Complete the Student Section of the FAFSA.
  3. Indicate any contributors to your FAFSA. This includes your parents or stepparents (if you are a dependent student) and your spouse (if applicable).
  4. Ask your contributors to create FSA IDs and complete their sections of the FAFSA.
  5. Review your FAFSA and submit it.


  • Start early.  Some FAFSA funds are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so submitting it as early as possible is best. We will let you know the exact date in December when the FAFSA becomes available.
  • Be accurate. Provide complete and accurate information on the FAFSA. Any errors or omissions could delay your application or even make you ineligible for financial aid.
  • Keep copies of all supporting documents. If selected for a process called Verification by Federal Student Aid, you may be asked to provide copies of your tax returns, W-2s, and other documents to verify your information. · Contact us at USCBFINA@uscb.edu for help if you have any questions about the FAFSA.

What Happens After You Submit the FAFSA:

Once you submit the FAFSA, it will be processed by the Federal Student Aid office. You will receive a notification once your FAFSA has been processed. You can then check your financial aid status on your studentaid.gov account.

Please include our School Code of 003450 so that we can receive your FAFSA. When we begin processing for the 2024-25 academic year, we will contact you via your University email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID)

An FSA ID is a username and password that students and contributors use to access federal student aid websites, such as StudentAid.gov.

All students and contributors must create an FSA ID if they are:

  • Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form
  • Signing your Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Applying for repayment plans
  • Completing loan counseling
  • Using the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool

To create an FSA ID, go to StudentAid.gov and click "Create an FSA ID." You will need to provide:

  • Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number

You will 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 can create an FSA ID at any time, but it is recommended that you create it at least a week or two before you start filling out the FAFSA form. This will give you time to verify your FSA ID and make sure that it is working properly.

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

Two-step verification is a security feature that helps protect your StudentAid.gov account from fraud. When you enable two-step verification, you will be required to enter a code from your mobile phone in addition to your username and password when you log in to your account.

Yes. Each contributor must have a unique phone number or email for multi-factor authentication.

This depends on the family's situation. For example, if a student has married parents filing taxes separately, both parents will need to make an FSA ID.

None. Just ensure they are verified and ready to use when the FAFSA 2024-25 opens sometime in December 2023.

Contributors starting FAFSA 2024-25

A contributor is anyone required to provide consent and approval for obtaining federal tax information needed to complete a student's FAFSA. If applicable, it may include:

  • Student
  • Student's spouse
  • Biological or adopted parent
  • Parent's spouse (stepparent)
  • Grandparents
  • Foster parents
  • Legal guardians
  • Brothers or sisters
  • Aunts or uncles
The student's or parent's answers to certain questions on the FAFSA form will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Personal and financial information
  1. Receive an email informing you that you've been identified as a contributor.
  2. Create a StudentAid.gov account if you don't already have one.
  3. Log in to your account using your FSA ID account username and password.
  4. Review information about completing your section of the FAFSA form.
  5. Provide the required information on the student's FAFSA form.
Being a contributor does not implicate financial responsibility. However, 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.
  • The parent who provides the most financial support should complete it.
  • If one parent pays child support, that parent should complete the FAFSA if the child support amounts to more than half of the student's support.
  • If a dependent student's parents are unmarried and living together, both parents will need to complete the FAFSA as contributors.
  • If the parent who provides most financial support is remarried, that parent and the stepparent's income should be on the FAFSA, even if they were not yet married on the requested tax year.

Consent starting FAFSA 2024-25

The Future Act requires all contributors on the FAFSA to provide consent to share their tax information with the IRS. This consent is necessary for the Department of Education to request federal tax information from the IRS and to use that information in the federal student aid application process.
If you, as a student, or a spouse or parent, don't provide consent on the FAFSA, you will not be eligible for any federal aid.
Providing consent allows the Department of Education to use your name and social security number to match with the IRS so the IRS may share your tax information with the Department of Education to determine a student's eligibility for federal student aid.
Every contributor still needs to provide consent on the FAFSA, so the IRS can confirm to Federal Student Aid (FSA) that you, your parents, or spouse didn't file taxes.
Starting 2024-25, all parties must complete the FAFSA application online. If a signature is missing, the parent or the contributor that needs to complete their section and/or sign the application must obtain an FSA ID and get into the application and complete their section.

Federal Taxes, Assets & Financial Data

No. Starting FAFSA 2024-25, the DRT will no longer exist. Federal Student Aid (FSA) will now directly transfer Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS into the FAFSA form as long as you have provided FSA with the consent to do so.
Yes. Starting with the Simplified FAFSA, students will determine which parent to report based on which one provides the most financial support. The reported parents will provide consent to transfer their taxes data even if they do not claim the student on their taxes.
Yes. If the parent providing more financial support is remarried, the stepparent's tax information is required.
We cannot provide tax advice, but our Federal Aid Counselors can offer to talk directly with the parent or stepparent to explain why the Department of Education requires their information.
Yes, but you still need to provide consent. We recommend you choose FAFSA provide your income from IRS taxes. If your situation has changed from the required tax year, please contact our office to request an appeal.
Students whose parents were not required to file a federal income tax return will automatically receive a SAI of -1500.

Starting 2024–25 award year, some financial information previously considered income or previously excluded from asset reporting will be required as assets instead. These include:

  • Annual amount of child support received.
  • Net worth of all businesses, regardless of the size or number of employees.
  • Net worth of farm including the value of a family farm (family primary's residence is still excluded). This includes the fair market value of land, buildings, livestock, unharvested crops, and machinery actively used in investment farms or agricultural or commercial activities, minus any debts help against those assets.
  • For dependent students, education savings accounts will only be counted as parental assets if the account is designated for the student.

Student Aid Index (SAI) & Pell Grant

The SAI is a measure of a student's financial aid need. It is calculated using information the student (and contributors, if required) provides on the FAFSA form.
The SAI is replacing the EFC starting in the 2024–25 award year. The main difference between the two is that the SAI does not consider the number of family members in college.
Students may qualify for a maximum Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI), poverty guidelines, and tax filing status. Students with a negative or 0 SAI are eligible for the maximum Pell Grant.
  • Students with a negative SAI are eligible for the maximum Pell Grant.
  • Non-tax filers receive automatic -1500 SAI. The maximum EFC was 0 (zero).
  • AGI, household size, and federal poverty guidelines determine Pell Grant eligibility.

Pell grant will no longer be awarded per enrollment category, but per amount of credits, as shown in the table below.

Credit Hours Enrollment Category (Old) Enrollment Intensity (New)
12 (or more) Full-Time 100%
11 Three-Quarter Time 92%
10 ^ 83%
9 ^ 75%
8 Half-Time 67%
7 ^ 58%
6 ^ 50%
5 Less-than-Half-Time 42%
4 ^ 33%
3 ^ 25%
2 ^ 17%
1 ^ 8%

Reflective of a Standard Term Program