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2024-25 FAFSA Changes

Last updated: December 1, 2023.

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the 2024-2025 aid year! Historically, the FAFSA opens in October, however, with the upcoming FAFSA changes, the 2024-25 FAFSA is expected to be available by December 31, 2023. Updates on the 2024-25 FAFSA will be posted here once announced.


Why is the FAFSA changing for 2024-25?

In 2020, Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act. This new act significantly overhauls the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Major changes now required by law include the FAFSA form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools participating in Title IV federal aid programs. The law will also affect any state that uses FAFSA data to award state grants (i.e., Cal Grant) and every school that participates in the federal student aid programs.

Concordia University Irvine's Financial Aid Office is dedicated to providing timely updates to our students and families. Due to the substantial amount of changes, portions of our website may not be fully updated for the 2024-25 academic year. We will continue to update this page as more information from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid becomes available. We appreciate your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.

What is changing on the FAFSA for 2024-25?

  • Replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). Starting with the 2024–25 award year, students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college and experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid. This was previously known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but will now be known as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new need analysis formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, allows a minimum SAI of -1500, and implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants.
  • The FAFSA will be shorter and more user-friendly: The maximum number of questions will be reduced, and the FAFSA form will pull your tax information directly from the IRS. The FAFSA Simplification Act removes questions about Selective Service registration and drug convictions. These changes will simplify and expedite the application process for students and their families.
  • FAFSA "contributors": A contributor is anyone required to provide information on an applicant's FAFSA, including the student, student's spouse (if applicable), biological or adoptive parent, or stepparent. A student's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors, if any, are required to provide information. See Steps for Contributors section below for more information.
    • To invite a Contributor to the FAFSA, a student must have the Contributor's name, date of birth, social security number, and email.
    • Being a contributor does not mean you are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean that you must provide information on the FAFSA. Refusal to provide information will make the student ineligible for federal student aid.
  • All contributors must have an FSA ID and provide consent. All contributors to the FAFSA are required to have their own FSA ID and must provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred from the IRS, have their tax data used to determine the student's eligibility for federal aid, and allow the U.S. Department of Education to share their tax information with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV aid. Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked in that award year. This consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country. If a contributor does not provide consent, the applicant will not be eligible for any Title IV aid.
  • Contributors will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange for their tax information. Previously, applicants and their parents could manually enter their tax information or utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with the 2024-25 aid year, the law mandates that the Office of Federal Student Aid use federal tax information received directly from the IRS to calculate Federal Pell Grant eligibility and the SAI. This requires all contributors to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange in the FAFSA. This data exchange is made possible by the FUTURE Act.
  • Untaxed income reported on the FAFSA is changing. Under the FAFSA Simplification Act, only the forms of untaxed income that are included on the federal tax return will be included on the FAFSA and in the calculation of the SAI.
  • Family farms and small businesses must be reported as assets. Applicants will now be asked to report the net worth of all businesses, regardless of the size of the business. For the net worth of a farm, the value of a family farm is now included. However, the value of a family's primary residence is still excluded.
  • The number in college will not be used to calculate a student's SAI. While the number in college question is still on the FAFSA, it will no longer be included in a student's SAI calculation. As a result, undergraduate students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.
  • Modifications to Family Definitions in FAFSA formulas: Starting with the 2024-25 award year, household size will be referred to as family size. The definition of family size has changed to align with the number of individuals reported as dependents on the applicant’s (if independent) or applicant’s parents’ (if dependent) U.S. tax return. Applicants may update their family size if it changes after filing the tax return.
  • In cases of divorce or separation, the parent responsible for completing the FAFSA has changed. For a dependent student whose parents are divorced or separated but not remarried, the parent who provided the greater portion of the student's financial support during the 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA is now considered the parent of record for the FAFSA. The parent of record must provide their income and asset information on the FAFSA.
  • Students may list up to 20 colleges and universities on the FAFSA.
  • Housing choice will no longer be included. Effective with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the student housing choice question (on campus, off campus, with parents, etc.) will be removed from the FAFSA.
  • The FAFSA will be available in more languages. Beginning with the 2024-25 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States. Additional language-specific support will be available from the Federal Student Aid Information Center.
  • Introduction of demographic questions. The FAFSA Simplification Act adds new questions about applicants' demographics (sex, race, and ethnicity), which will not affect federal student aid eligibility. Note that schools will not receive this demographic data from the FAFSA.
  • Expanding Access to Federal Pell Grants. The FAFSA Simplification Act will expand the Federal Pell Grant to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level. As a result, some students may automatically receive a maximum or minimum Pell Grant award. Pell Grants between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI. Incarcerated students in federal and state penal facilities will regain the ability to receive a Federal Pell Grant. Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility will be restored to students whose school closed while they were enrolled or if a school is found to have misled the student.

What isn't changing on the FAFSA?

While the FAFSA is receiving significant updates for 2024-25, some elements will not change:

  • The FAFSA will still be required each year to be considered for federal and state financial aid.
  • The FAFSA will still request tax information from two years prior. This means you will report 2022 tax information on your 2024-25 FAFSA.
    • The Financial Aid Office recognizes that families can experience changes in income, other finances, or experience a special or unusual circumstance that are not adequately reflected on the student's FAFSA. If you believe you have a special or unusual circumstance to be considered, please visit our Professional Judgment page or contact your financial aid counselor to discuss your situation.
  • The types of aid available and federal student loan limits will not change.
  • Questions that determine your dependency status will remain on the FAFSA.

2024-25 FAFSA Delay and Cal Grant

Due to the delayed opening of the 2024-25 FAFSA, the priority deadline for Cal Grant has been moved from March 2, 2024 to April 2, 2024. This means you have an additional month to file your 2024-25 FAFSA and still be considered for a Cal Grant award.

For additional information on the Cal Grant priority deadline extension, please visit the California Student Aid Commission's website.

Concordia's 2024-25 FAFSA Webinars

Save the date for Concordia's FAFSA Webinars! Join representatives from Concordia's Financial Aid Office and learn more about the upcoming FAFSA changes, filing the FAFSA, the financial aid process, and more. You will also have the opportunity to engage with our team on your FAFSA and financial aid questions.

Webinar Dates:

Our presentation will take place from 6:30-7:00 pm and will be followed by Q&A from 7:00-8:00 pm. Save your seat and register now!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Steps for Contributors

Step 1

Contributor receives an email informing them that they’ve been identified as a contributor.

Step 2

Contributor creates a account if they don’t already have one.

Step 3

Contributor logs into the account using their FSA ID (account username and password).

Step 4

Contributor reviews information about completing their section of the FAFSA form.

Step 5

Contributor provides required info, including consent + approval, and signs student’s FAFSA form.

Important: Being a contributor does not indicate financial responsibility.
However, if a contributor refuses to provide their information, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

2024-25 FAFSA FAQs

When should I file the 2024-25 FAFSA?

New students who plan to begin at Concordia in Fall 2024 should complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available. Per the Department of Education, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available by December 31, 2023. Returning students should complete the FAFSA on or before the March 15th priority deadline.

My parent(s) does not have a Social Security Number (SSN). Can we still complete the 2024-25 FAFSA online?

Yes! Even if your parent(s) does not have an SSN, you can still complete the FAFSA online. When you get to the section where you can invite a Contributor to your FAFSA, you will enter your parent's name, date of birth, email, and then check the box that reads "My parent doesn't have an SSN". You will then be prompted to enter your parent's address instead. Your parent will then receive an email letting them know they have been identified as a Contributor. If they do not have an FSA ID, they will be prompted to create one.

My parents are married/remarried. Are both my parents considered contributors?

It depends. If you are a dependent student and your parents filed their tax return as Married, Filing Jointly only one parent contributor is required to complete the FAFSA. If you are a dependent student and your parents filed their tax return as Married, Filing Separately then both parents will be considered contributors. In this case, both parents need separate FSA IDs and must provide consent.

My parents are unmarried but live together. Are both my parents considered contributors?

Yes! If you are a dependent student and your parents are unmarried and living together, then both parents will be contributors, need separate FSA IDs, and each parent must provide consent.

My parent(s) are refusing to provide consent. What are my options?

If you are a dependent student and one or more contributors refuse to provide consent, you will be given the opportunity to indicate on the FAFSA that you would like to receive only a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. If you select this option, additional documentation may be required before our office can process a Direct Unsubsidized Loan offer.

My parents do not support me. Do I have to include one as a contributor on the FAFSA?

Yes, if you are a dependent student, at least one parent must be a contributor on your FAFSA. If your parents are divorced/separated but not remarried, and neither parent provided support in the 12-month period immediately prior to filing your FAFSA, the parent of record (i.e., contributor) is the parent who provided the greater portion of support during the most recent year you received financial support from a parent.

My parents are divorced/separated, and each provides 50% of my financial support. Which parent is considered the contributor?

If both parents claim an equal amount of support, then the parent of record (i.e., contributor) is the parent with the greater amount of income and assets.

What types of untaxed income will no longer be reported on the FAFSA?

The following forms of untaxed income will no longer be reported on the 2024-25 FAFSA:

  • Untaxed payments to tax-deferred pension and retirement saving plans;
  • Housing, food, and other living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy, and others;
  • Veterans benefits;
  • Workman's compensation;
  • Other untaxed income not reported elsewhere on the FAFSA, like Black Lung Benefits, Refugee assistance, railroad retirement benefits, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) benefits; or
  • Cash support received or any money paid on the student’s behalf

My Contributor refused to provide consent, but manually entered their tax information on my FAFSA. Am I still eligible?

No, if a contributor to your FAFSA did not provide consent, you are ineligible for federal student aid even if that contributor manually entered their tax information. Your contributor must provide consent for you to be eligible for federal student aid and your FAFSA to be processed. Your contributor can provide consent at a later date by logging in with their FSA ID and submitting a correction to your FAFSA.

I submitted my FAFSA as a Provisionally Independent Student. What are my next steps?

Please contact your financial aid counselor for next steps. Note that our office may need to collect additional documentation to verify your circumstances qualify for Independent status and that your Student Aid Index (SAI) on the FAFSA will not be officially calculated until we have confirmed your status. Your financial aid file will be placed on hold until this process is completed.

For additional information, please visit the FAFSA Simplification Information Knowledge Center or contact our office with questions.

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