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FAFSA Simplification and Timeline

FAFSA Simplification

2024-2025 FAFSA

As of Dec. 31, 2023, the 2024-2025 FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid is now available. The Department of Education announced the 2024-25 FAFSA Student Aid Index Update and Timeline (Updated Feb. 2, 2024) | Knowledge Center One Stop Student Services will not be able to confirm receipt of your FAFSA until April.

Due to the passing of the FAFSA Simplification Act on Dec. 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year, which determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.

You can expect the following changes:

  • 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 as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

FAFSA changes for 2024-2025

Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA went live on Dec. 31, 2023. This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.
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.

You can prepare for the FAFSA by doing the following:

  • Create an FSA ID on the FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
    • 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, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
    • Students and students' spouses, parents, and stepparents who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) can now obtain an FSA ID. To learn how, see the How to Get an FSAID for Individuals Without a Social Security Number:
  • Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to find out how much federal student aid you may be eligible for starting with the 2024–25 award year.
    • This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024–25 award year, not the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for 2023–24 award year.
  • Opt in to communications (Log In | Federal Student Aid) to receive up to date notifications and learn about upcoming changes to the FAFSA.


The following timeline provides an overview of upcoming changes due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. Additional dates will be added as we learn more information.

December 2023
The FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid for the 2024-2025 year opens.
Late-spring 2024
Estimated Financial Aid notices begin going out to undergraduate first-year and transfer students. 

If you are admitted to the University and have completed the financial aid process, you will receive an award offer in the mail once the processed FAFSAs are released to the University.

Returning students will receive their award offers electronically in the BSU InfoBear student portal after the spring 2024 semester.
Mid-summer 2024
Financial Aid award offers will continue to be processed and delivered to students throughout the summer on a weekly basis.