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2024-2025 FAFSA Changes

The FAFSA Simplification Act & How It Affects You


The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

The goal of the FAFSA Simplification Act is to make it easier for students to apply for financial aid. The new FAFSA will require fewer questions about income and will rely on the Direct Data Exchange (DDE) with the IRS for completion of the FAFSA. Among other key changes, this legislation attempts to clarify the questions that will be asked and will aim to increase Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

What You Can Do Now

Before filing the FAFSA GET YOUR FSA ID! @ The Federal Student Aid (FSA) account is required to file the FAFSA for federal financial aid.  

All students and contributors (such as parents and spouses) require an FSA ID to apply for the FAFSA.

While the changes to the FAFSA could increase financial aid eligibility for some, others may see a decrease in aid. Some key changes that can impact the application process and the financial aid offer a student will receive are outlined below. 


Changes to the FAFSA Application: 

Video information courtesy of Federal Student Aid.

Some key changes include, but are not limited to:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA will go live by December 31, 2023, instead of opening in October.
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete. It will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a more direct method.
  • 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 cost.

Video information courtesy of Federal Student Aid.

  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been replaced with Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI).
  • Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents will now need to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility. This consent will allow the IRS to share FTI through a Direct Data Exchange. If any party to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed.
  • Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID. This will speed up FAFSA processing time as they’ll be able to submit the form online, rather than having to print, sign, and mail their application.

Changes to Calculating Your Eligibility

Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and they will experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) is pleased to announce the release of a newly revised Federal Student Aid Estimator that now provides an estimate of the new Student Aid Index (SAI) and revised federal Pell Grant eligibility calculation.

  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is a different way to determine aid eligibility.  
  • SAI will no longer take the number of students in college into consideration. 
This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.  
  • The FAFSA Simplification Act expands the Federal Pell Grant to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level. 
  • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
  • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as a primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in their need analysis calculation.


The Financial Aid Office will begin processing 2024-2025 FAFSA applications and sending offer notifications to new students May 2024.


The Shippensburg University Financial Aid Office is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. We'll continue to update this page as we receive more information from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid.


Contact the Financial Aid Office 101 Old Main, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1131 Fax: (717) 477-4028
Fall & Spring Terms: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM / Summer & Winter Terms: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM