Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year.
You can expect the following changes:
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023.
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.
- The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
- New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
- Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.
We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.
FAFSA changes for 2024-2025
FAFSA completion date
Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023. This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.
Streamlined application process
The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Applicants will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange
Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most, that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.
All “contributors” must provide financial information
A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such and will need to log in using their own FSA ID (if they don't already have one) to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA.
Being a contributor does not mean they are 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.
Who are considered “Contributors?”
If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent(s) is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA. It is not automatically the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.
All Contributors–student, student's spouse (if married), and student's parents(s) (if a dependent student)–must provide consent to have tax data transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided by all parties, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional. It is now required.
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). Unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number.
Small businesses and family farms are now considered assets
When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.
The number in college will not be used to calculate SAI
The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA, but it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.
Expanding Pell Grant eligibility
The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.
Families making less than 175% and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI.
What isn’t changing?
While the FAFSA is receiving an update and the aid eligibility calculation has been revised, there are several aid-related matters that will not change.
- The general types of aid available to students and federal student loan limits will not change.
- The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
- Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
- The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you'll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024-25 application.
- The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race, and ethnicity will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and are included for statistical purposes and data collection only. In fact, UTM won't even receive this data from the FAFSA.
The following timeline provides an overview of upcoming changes due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. Additional dates will be added as we learn more information.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 year opens.
Estimated Financial Aid Notifications begin going out to undergraduate first-year and transfer students.
If you are admitted to the University and have completed the financial aid process, you will receive an Estimated Financial Aid Notification in the mail.
Returning students will receive an Estimated Financial Aid Notification in their university email after grades post in May.
Prepare for the FAFSA
While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:
- Create a user ID and password (formerly FSA ID) for StudentAid.gov on the Federal Student Aid websiteand assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
- StudentAid gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
- You can use it to fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
- Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.