What changes are expected to the FAFSA?
Did you know there are changes coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA? You can expect a shorter model, greater capacity, and EFC clearance. Some minor changes are seen in the latest current applications, but major changes will appear from award years 2024 to 2025.
What are subtle changes to the FAFSA?
For award year 2022-2023 models, you will definitely notice some changes compared to previous years.
The template has been updated to match the look, feel, and visuals of the rest of the site.
You can select a specific role (developer, student or parent) before starting the form.
Help topics have been updated.
A drug conviction will no longer affect eligibility for federal student aid.
If you have a drug conviction, you will be asked to complete a worksheet that you must complete as accurately and honestly as possible.
Selective Service registration will no longer affect a student’s eligibility for assistance.
What are the main changes to the FAFSA?
There are three big changes in the coming years that you should be aware of:
Fewer FAFSA Form Questions
Past FAFSA Forms Contains Over 100 Questions! But in the future, there will only be about 36 questions. Forms have also been simplified – for example, importing tax information for a parent will be easier than ever. Some students may not be asked about their own origins.
Eligible for Pell Grants
Pell Grants are federal student aid that, unlike loans, does not have to be repaid, as long as you meet the criteria and eligibility. It is usually awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. More students will be eligible for these scholarships in the future.
Students will also see time limits for subsidized loans removed. This will allow students to access funds as needed during their undergraduate education.
The SAI replaces the EFC.
In the past, the expected family contribution, or EFC, was used to indicate how much a family was expected to pay for a student’s education and how much financial assistance the student would receive. Not always on the button – you can’t pay anywhere near where you’d expect it to be.
From now on, the Student Aid Index, or SAI, will replace the EFC. It’s the same idea, but the number now has the potential to be negative. This will make it easier than ever for students to get financial aid, and it will also make it easier for colleges to identify those most in need of help.
It’s important to stay on top of all FAFSA changes, especially as we transition into the new award years. Understanding how the model works and how it affects your financial aid offerings can be the reason for the difference when it comes to getting the real help you need.