The FAFSA Is Changing: Here’s What You Need To Know
By Joe Messinger, CFP®
September 22, 2023
We originally posted this blog when the changes were announced in April. Since October is in right around the corner, we want to remind you of the FAFSA changes with the most important being that FAFSA will be rolling out on December 1st and not October 1st this year. Here is everything you need to know.
Federal Student Aid has moved forward with changes to their FAFSA application process for the 2024-25 season. These changes are critical for college-bound families to know, as there are some dramatic updates to be aware of. Federal Student Aid says this update is the “most ambitious and significant redesign of the federal student aid application and delivery in several decades.” In today’s post, we’re going over what will impact families the most.
Typically, the new FAFSA is released every year on October 1st, giving families most of the fall to complete the application process. This year, Federal Student Aid is rolling out its updated FAFSA on December 1st. In future years, the roll-out will return to October 1st – this year is the only exception.
Expanded FAFSA Outreach
Federal Student Aid has long worked to bring awareness to families and students about the FAFSA, and how to complete it correctly to maximize your financial aid. Part of their updates is a more robust outreach program, including videos and tutorials, to help families.
Financial Aid Estimations
As Federal Student Aid has started to transition away from Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the new Student Aid Index (SAI), new financial aid calculators and tools are being made available for families. These tools will walk parents and students through potential aid eligibility, and offer previews of the new FAFSA form so they can be prepared when they’re ready to file.
For students who are working collaboratively with a school counselor, Federal Student Aid is offering counselor training services and fact sheets to help ensure that these trusted professionals are able to help guide students through the application process.
Implementing the FAFSA Simplification Act
The FAFSA Simplification Act replaces the EFC with the SAI, expands access to federal aid (think: Pell Grants, aid for incarcerated individuals, etc.) for students, and streamlines the FAFSA form. The goal is for these changes to be implemented in the 2024-25 school year application.
Expanding Language Inclusivity
This round of FAFSA updates expands the FAFSA to be available in 11 different languages for increased accessibility.
The key change families need to know about for this round of FAFSA changes is the release date for the 2024-25 school year. Teaming up with an advisor who specializes in college planning can help you to stay ahead of the game and submit your application quickly and efficiently.
If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out. Click here to schedule a consultation!
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