Student borrowers, listen up! There are some important federal student aid updates this year that you’ll need to know about. Specifically, FAFSA changes for 2024 could impact your ability to qualify for student aid to pay for your education.
The 2024 FAFSA application, which students fill out and submit to the Department of Education, has been redesigned, and there are a number of new changes. FAFSA, if you didn’t know, stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid,” and it’s one of the more critical elements for students looking to get financial aid to pay for college.
You can find the FAFSA 2024 form online, fill it out, and submit it, too. Again: This is very important for students hoping to get some sort of financial aid in 2024 and beyond.
2024 FAFSA Application: Federal student aid updates and changes
If you’ve never filled out the FAFSA form, then the changes for 2024 won’t mean much to you. But if you have, then there are several key changes you’ll need to know about. Here are seven of them that the Department of Education specifically points out.
The FAFSA 2024 filing deadline
This year, the deadline to file the 2024-2025 FAFSA form is June 30, 2025. But schools have their own deadlines, as do states, so students will need to make sure they know the deadlines specific to their situation.
Contributors need FSA IDs
FAFSAs may include information from several people, called contributors (the student, student’s spouse, parents, etc.). Now, each contributor will need their own FSA ID, and will need to register to get one. They’ll use that ID to log in and fill out their portion of the FAFSA form.
Further, students won’t be able to access their FAFSA form without a StudentAid.gov account. So, register for one if you need to!
Consent is needed
Students and contributors need to provide consent and approval in order to have the IRS transfer their federal tax information to the form — another change.
A new formula
The calculation used to determine financial aid eligibility has also changed. From the DOE:
“Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is an index number that’s calculated using the information that you and your contributors provide on the FAFSA form. Your SAI can range anywhere from –1500 to 999999. Note that it is not a dollar amount. The SAI replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024–25 award year.
Once your college, career school, or trade school knows your SAI, they will use it to calculate how much and what types of financial aid you’re eligible to receive.”
Pell Grant eligibility 2024: Expansion
Students hoping to receive Pell Grants: the maximum potential award was updated this year, as it is every year. For 2023-2024, the maximum award is $7,395, and the next update will be announced sometime this year. But there were some changes to how eligibility was calculated for these Grants, too, which is something students should be aware of.
Aside from the above, students should know that the updated FAFSA has fewer questions, is available in more languages, and students can now list more colleges — that is, students can send a copy of their information to listed schools, and the number of potential schools was doubled to 20.
Remember: If you’re a student hoping to receive financial aid, you should know the ins and outs of the FAFSA form, especially with the changes this year!
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