2024-2025 FAFSA Changes | SCC
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2024-2025 FAFSA Changes

THE FAFSA has a new look! Better FAFSA, Better Future!

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. The Act was passed with a goal of making it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) as well as expanding access to federal student aid. Due to significant changes, the FAFSA opening date for the 2024-2025 award year was delayed which in turn delayed processing of financial aid, but everything is back on track and ready for you!

Now is the time to file the 2024-2025 FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov. If you are experiencing problems in completing the FAFSA, please be persistent. Federal Student Aid (FSA) is continuously working on the application to resolve any errors in the on-line form.

The good news is, we are here to assist you! If you have not filed the FAFSA, now is the time to do so to maximize your eligibility for all available aid, especially funds from the state.

Once your FAFSA is fully processed, you will be notified by Federal Student Aid that your information will be forwarded to all schools you listed on the FAFSA. SCC will notify you once we receive your FAFSA information and let you know if we need any additional information from you.

An estimated offer letter will be sent to you outlining the financial aid you can potentially expect to receive.

important information about the FAFSA

  • The FAFSA will be streamlined and more user-friendly with fewer questions.
  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Federal aid eligibility will be extended to more students. 
  • IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) makes entering tax information easier and will be required for students, spouses, and parents to transfer their 2022 tax information or non-filing status.
  • The number of family members in college will no longer factor into the FAFSA calculation.
  • Untaxed items such as payments to tax-deferred retirement or pension plans, veteran’s non-educational benefits, and worker’s compensation will no longer be required.
  • Parent assets will now include net worth of all businesses and net worth of a family farm, if applicable.
  • For divorced or separated parents: The parent who provided the most financial support to the student will need to provide their information. Previously, the parent who the student lived with the most provided their information.
  • Everyone contributing to the FAFSA form online must have their own account on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website. Each contributor, including the student, will access their account with their own FSA ID (account username and password).

Student Aid Index (SAI): Calculated by FAFSA data and will determine student aid eligibility. This replaces the EFC that was used in previous years.

Cost of Attendance (COA): COA includes tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies (including course materials and equipment), miscellaneous expenses, and transportation.

Contributor: A parent, step-parent, student, or spouse of the student who is providing information to the FAFSA.

Consent: Required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax data directly to the FAFSA. If any contributor does not provide consent, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid.

Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Previously known as IRS Data Retrieval; this tool imports tax data directly from the IRS to your FAFSA.

FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): A summary of your completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used in previous years.

AN FSA ID is a username and password used to log in to and sign the FAFSA. The FSA ID serves as a legal signature and shouldn’t be created or used by anyone other than the person for which it was created.

  • To Create an FSA ID go to https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch 
  • The FSA ID should be created at least 2 weeks prior to completing the FAFSA.
  • Each person will need to provide their own email address and Social Security Number to create the FSA ID.
  • Those without a Social Security Number can still create an FSA ID using a knowledge-based identify verification software through TransUnion. This video helps explain the process How Do I Create a StudentAid.gov Account If I Don’t Have a Social Security Number? (youtube.com).
  • Undocumented parents will need an FSA ID (this info is kept secure and only used for determining the student’s eligibility for financial aid).
  • All Contributors are required to have or create an FSA ID to complete and sign a student’s FAFSA this means that both parents/spouse may need an FSA ID along with the student.

There is an onboarding process with initial login to assist contributors and a Parent Wizard to help in determining whose information should be included on the FAFSA.

Once the student and their contributor(s) have obtained an FSA IS, they can start the FAFSA form.

Don’t forget to add Somerset as a school choice on your FAFSA. Our Federal School Code is 001997.

  • If a student begins the FAFSA, the student invites the parent(s) through email to contribute their information on the FAFSA. If a parent begins the FAFSA, the parent(s) invites the student to contribute their information to the FAFSA.
  • Once invited, students or parents can log in through the email invitation or the studentaid.gov dashboard to complete the process.
  • The last contributor to complete their portion of the form will have the opportunity to submit the FAFSA. The FAFSA is not fully complete until it is submitted.

A FAFSA submission summary will be sent from Federal Student Aid once the FAFSA has been processed.