Office of Financial Aid
2024-2025 FAFSA Simplification
The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This law reduces the number of questions students will have to answer on the form, makes crucial changes to the Higher Education Act of 1965 to expand Pell Grant eligibility and removes outdated restrictions to make federal student aid more accessible to all students.
What does the FAFSA Simplification Act do?
- creates a more streamlined application process
- expands eligibility for federal financial aid in many instances
- reduces barriers for certain student populations
- creates a better user experience in the FAFSA form
Changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA
|What Will Change?||What Is Not Changing?|
|What Will Change? The FAFSA will be shorter and more user-friendly by reducing questions to just under 50.||What Is Not Changing? The FAFSA remains required annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens.|
|What Will Change? Starting 2024-25, parents and/or spouses who are not U.S. Citizens or Eligible Noncitizens can use their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to create an FSA ID. They will be able to report their income and tax information on the FAFSA and use their FSA ID account to electronically sign the FAFSA.||What Is Not Changing? FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information. Families that had significant reduction in income due to extenuating circumstances can still request special circumstances review.|
|What Will Change? Student may list 20 colleges to receive their FAFSA application.||What Is Not Changing? Federal Education Loan requirements remain the same.|
|What Will Change? FAFSA form will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States.||What Is Not Changing? Most undergraduate students under the age of 24 will need parent information on the FAFSA. The dependency determination questions are not changing. If you met a dependency determination in the past, you will continue to do so in the future.|
Completing the FAFSA
When completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA there will be changes to the application and the process to complete the application. Each contributor (student, student spouse, parent(s) and/or stepparent) must provide consent. If any contributor does not provide their consent the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and we will not be able to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Consent is mandatory for transferring federal tax information from the IRS and determining the student’s aid eligibility. If a student (or student’s spouse) does not provide consent, the student will be ineligible for any federal aid. If a parent contributor refuses consent, the student may still be given the opportunity to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
Resources, Tools and Tips for the 2024-2025 FAFSA
The Federal Student Aid Estimator provides students and families an estimate of their 2024-2025 federal financial aid using the new Student Aid Index (SAI).
Please note: This is not a FAFSA. Students will need to complete a 2024-2025 FAFSA when it becomes available after December 2023
SAI- The Student Aid Index (SAI) is a new eligibility index number the financial aid office will use to determine need-based financial aid eligibility. The SAI will replace the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) starting with the 2024-2025 academic year.
Contributor- A contributor is anyone required to provide consent and approval for obtaining federal tax information needed to complete a student’s FAFSA. This includes the student, the student’s parent(s) if the student is a dependent, and the student’s spouse, if applicable. Students must designate contributors when completing their section of the FAFSA.
Additional Information on Contributors:
- If you are a dependent student, you must indicate your parents or stepparents as contributors on the FAFSA.
- If your parents are married and filed joint 2022 tax returns, only one parent needs to complete the FAFSA as a contributor.
- If your parents are married and filed separate 2022 tax returns, both parents need to complete the FAFSA as contributors.
- If your parents are divorced, separated, or never married, the parent who provides the most financial support should complete the FAFSA as a contributor.
- If you are married, you must indicate your spouse as a contributor on the FAFSA.
Future Act Direct Data Exchange (FADDX)- Previously, the IRS DRT gave both students and parents the option to import tax return data to their FAFSA instead of manually entering the information on the FAFSA. In 2024-2025, the FADDX authorizes the IRS to provide federal tax information directly to the FAFSA application upon receiving consent from the contributor.
Before you start:
- Create or reconfirm your Studentaid.gov Account (Previously known as FSA ID). Everyone who needs to provide information on the FAFSA needs an Studentaid.gov Account (Previously known as FSA ID). This includes the student, the student's parents or stepparents (if the student is a dependent), and the student's spouse (if applicable).
- Gather your tax information. You will need to provide tax information for the student and their parents or stepparents, if applicable.
Steps to complete the FAFSA:
- Go to studentaid.gov and log in with your Studentaid.gov Account (Previously known as FSA ID).
- Complete the Student Section of the FAFSA.
- Indicate any contributors to your FAFSA. This includes your parents or stepparents (if you are a dependent student) and your spouse (if applicable).
- Ask your contributors to create Studentaid.gov Account (Previously known as FSA ID) and complete their sections of the FAFSA.
- Add Morgan's school code: 002083
- Review your FAFSA and submit it.
- Be accurate. Provide complete and accurate information on the FAFSA. Any errors or omissions could delay your application or even make you ineligible for federal financial aid.
- Keep copies of all supporting documents. If selected by Federal Student Aid, you may be asked to provide copies of your tax returns, W-2s, and other documents to verify your information.
- Studentaid.gov Account (Previously known as FSA ID)
- Taxes and Financial Data
- Student Aid Index (SAI)
What is a StudentAid.Gov Account, previously called Federal Student Account Identification (FSA ID)?
When creating a StudentAid.Gov Account, the username and password will be used by students and contributors to access federal student aid websites. If you already created a Federal Student Aid Identification Account (FSA ID) previously, you do not need create a StudentAid.Gov Account.
Who needs a StudentAid.gov account, and what is it used for?
All students and contributors must create an account if they are:
- Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form
- Applying for PLUS loans
- Signing your Master Promissory Note (MPN)
- Applying for repayment plans
- Completing loan counseling
- Using the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool
How do I create an account?
- Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
You will also need to create a memorable username and password and complete challenge questions and answers to retrieve your account information if you forget it.
When should I create an account?
You can create an account at studentaid.gov at any time, but it is recommended that you create it at least a week or two before you start filling out the FAFSA form. This will give you time to verify your account and make sure that it is working properly.
What if I need help creating an FSA ID?
This step-by-step guide can help with detailed information.
What is two-step verification and why do I have to set it up for my StudentAid.gov account?
Two-step verification is a security feature that helps protect your StudentAid.gov account from fraud. When you enable two-step verification, you will be required to enter a code from your mobile phone in addition to your username and password when you log in to your account.
Does each contributor need a unique phone number or email for multi-factor authentication?
Yes. Each contributor must have a unique phone number or email for multi-factor authentication.
Do both parents need to create an account or just one like before?
This depends on the family's situation. For example, if a student has married parents filing taxes separately, both parents will need to create an account.
Who are contributors for FAFSA 2024-2025 purposes?
A contributor is anyone required to provide consent and approval for obtaining federal tax information needed to complete a student's FAFSA. If applicable, it may include:
- Student's spouse
- Biological or adopted parent
- Parent's spouse (stepparent)
Who are not contributors?
- Foster parents
- Legal guardians
- Brothers or sisters
- Aunts or uncles
How are contributors determined?
The student's or parent's answers to certain questions on the FAFSA form will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
What do contributors need to provide?
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Email address
- Personal and financial information
What steps do contributors need to follow?
- Receive an email informing you that you've been identified as a contributor.
- Create a StudentAid.gov account if you don't already have one.
- Log in to your account using your StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID account username and password).
- Review information about completing your section of the FAFSA form.
- Provide the required information on the student's FAFSA form.
What if I am a contributor and don't want to provide my information?
Being a contributor does not implicate financial responsibility. However, if a required contributor refuses to provide their information, it will result in an incomplete FAFSA form, and the student will become ineligible for federal student aid.
In cases where biological parents are not married, who should provide information on the FAFSA?
- The parent who provides the most financial support should complete it.
- If one parent pays child support, that parent should complete the FAFSA if the child support amounts to more than half of the student's support.
- If a dependent student's parents are unmarried and living together, both parents will need to complete the FAFSA as contributors.
- If the parent who provides most financial support is remarried, that parent and the stepparent's income should be on the FAFSA, even if they were not yet married on the requested tax year.
Why do I need to provide consent?
The Future Act requires all contributors on the FAFSA to provide consent to share their tax information with the IRS. This consent is necessary for the Department of Education to request federal tax information from the IRS and to use that information in the federal student aid application process.
Does a contributor need to provide consent even if they are not required to file a federal tax return?
Yes, the contributor is required to provide consent even if the contributor is not required to file a tax return based on IRS guidelines.
What happens if I don't provide consent?
If the student, spouse, or parent, does not provide consent on the FAFSA, the student will not be eligible for any federal aid.
What happens after someone provides consent, or Federal Taxes Information (FTI) Approval, on the 2024-2025 FAFSA?
Providing consent allows the Department of Education to use your name and social security number to match with the IRS so the IRS may share your tax information with the Department of Education to determine a student's eligibility for federal student aid.
Do I still need to provide consent if I had a low income and was not required to file taxes or even if I had zero wages?
Every contributor still needs to provide consent on the FAFSA, so the IRS can confirm to Federal Student Aid (FSA) that you, your parents, or spouse didn't file taxes.
What happens if a contributor provides consent but doesn't sign the application?
Starting 2024-2025, all parties must complete the FAFSA application online. If a signature is missing, the parent or the contributor that needs to complete their section and/or sign the application must obtain an FSA ID and get into the application and complete their section. If a required contributor does not sign it will result in an incomplete FAFSA form, and the student will become ineligible for federal student aid.
Will students, spouses and parents still be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?
No. Starting FAFSA 2024-2025, the DRT will no longer exist. Federal Student Aid (FSA) will now directly transfer Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS into the FAFSA form as long as you have provided FSA with the consent to do so.
Will non-custodial parents be contributors if they have not claimed the child on their taxes?
Yes. Starting with the Simplified FAFSA, students will determine which parent to report based on which one provides the most financial support. The reported parents will provide consent to transfer their taxes data even if they do not claim the student on their taxes.
If parents who are remarried provide more financial support to the child than a biological parent, does the stepparent have to provide their tax information?
Yes. If the parent providing more financial support is remarried, the stepparent's tax information is required.
Can my parent or I self-report our income on FAFSA?
Yes, but you still need to provide consent. We recommend you choose FAFSA provide your income from IRS taxes. If your situation has changed from the required tax year, please contact your financial aid advisor regarding a Special Circumstance appeal for 2024-2025.
What if I had a low income and was not required to file taxes?
You are still required to give consent.
Why are assets different on the FAFSA 2024-2025?
Starting 2024–2025 award year, some financial information previously considered income or previously excluded from asset reporting will be required as assets instead. These include:
- Annual amount of child support received.
- Net worth of all businesses, regardless of the size or number of employees.
- Net worth of farm including the value of a family farm (family primary's residence is still excluded). This includes the fair market value of land, buildings, livestock, unharvested crops, and machinery actively used in investment farms or agricultural or commercial activities, minus any debts help against those assets.
- For dependent students, education savings accounts will only be counted as parental assets if the account is designated for the student.
What is the SAI?
The SAI is a measure of a student's financial aid need. It is calculated using information the student (and contributors, if required) provides on the FAFSA form.
What is the difference between the SAI and EFC?
The SAI is replacing the EFC starting in the 2024–2025 award year. The main difference between the two is that the SAI does not consider the number of family members in college.
How is Pell Grant eligibility determined based on SAI?
Students may qualify for a maximum Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI), poverty guidelines, and tax filing status. Students with a negative or 0 SAI are eligible for the maximum Pell Grant.
What does a negative SAI mean?
- Students with a negative SAI are eligible for the maximum Pell Grant.
- Non-tax filers receive automatic -1500 SAI.
- AGI, household size, and federal poverty guidelines determine Pell Grant eligibility.
Office of Financial Aid
Tyler Hall, Suite 206
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, Maryland 21251
School Code FAFSA: 002083