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FAFSA Changes for 2024-2025

FAFSA Data Delayed

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, has undergone a major overhaul and update for the 2024-2025 academic year that has resulted in a significant delay in OLLU and other universities receiving student FAFSA data. This delay means that financial aid packages also will be delayed. OLLU finally started receiving FAFSA data from the government in mid-April. The office will issue financial aid award packages as quickly as possible now that data has begun to arrive.

Changes to the FAFSA were made by the U.S. Department of Education due to the FAFSA Simplification Act , passed by the U.S. Congress in 2020. The result is changes in the processes and systems used to award federal aid including the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility. In addition, there have been changes to terminology, procedures and to the form used for applying for aid.

When did the FAFSA Open?

The FAFSA typically opens on Oct. 1 but this year it opened on Dec. 31, 2023 under a "soft launch." The U.S. Department of Education continues to work on the form so you may experience periodic outages.

What You Should Do Now?

You should complete the FAFSA now at Both the student and parent should have their own FAFSA login information known as the FSA ID. If you have filed a FAFSA in the past, ensure you have your user name and password. If you have never filed a FAFSA, set up your username and password at

Student and parents also will need their 2022 income tax information. The FAFSA requires “prior, prior” year income tax information for completing the application.

What is Changing with the New FAFSA?

The changes are due to the FAFSA Simplification Act and are designed to streamline and simiplify the application process. Some of the changes include:

The maximum number of questions on the FAFSA has been reduced from 108 to 46. Based on your answers, you may have even fewer questions.

Previously, families had the option to enter their tax information manually. With the new 2024-2025 FAFSA, all individuals on the FAFSA must provide consent for the U.S. Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This will allow automatic transfer of tax information into the application reducing time to complete the application and the number of questions to be answered.

Previously, the FAFSA used Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as an index number to determine eligibility for aid. With the new FAFSA, Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the EFC. SAI utilizes a new need analysis formula that may be a negative number down to -1500, and implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants.

"Contributor" is a new term being introduced on the 2024-2025 FAFSA. It is anyone who is required to provide information on a student's FAFSA form (such as the student, parents, stepparents, spouse). Answers on the FAFSA determine which contributors are required to provide information.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such, and need to log in using their own Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. All contributors must provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred into the 2024-2025 FAFSA form from the IRS, or the student won’t be eligible for federal student aid.

Being a contributor does not mean a person is financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid. 

Previously, for dependent students, the parent the student lives with the most over the previous year was responsible for submitting the FAFSA. With the 2024-2025 FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.