For families of high school students, filling out the FAFSA form for the first time can be stressful. Congress, through the FAFSA Simplification Act, recently enacted changes to this form that go into effect in October 2023. As a college coach, I am committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information about anything related to college admissions and financial aid.
Listed below is all the current information you need to know for this coming year:
- The questions on the FAFSA form were pared down to 36, instead of 100. This was done to hopefully simplify the process and save time.
- Users will need an FSA ID to access the FAFSA application. You can obtain this ID by going to: https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch
- Questions about gender have been removed from this form.
- Questions about drug conviction have been removed from this form.
- Students are no longer required to have a Selective Service Match or have a qualified exemption to receive financial aid.
- Students can now send this information to 20 colleges, instead of 10 with the old form.
- The need analysis income threshold has been increased to between $27,000 and $29,000.
- IF you have multiple children in college, there are going to be changes to the calculation of aid that could directly impact your financial aid eligibility.
- The Expected Family Contribution, that number that families look for in determining how much the government feels they can pay for college, has been replaced by the SAI, the Student Aid Index.
And a quick update released today:
As of this morning, March 22, 2023, the Department of Education announced that the 2024-2025 FAFSA, which is normally released to parents and students in October 2023 will NOT be released this year until December. The reasoning, according to the department, is to give them time to update StudentAid.gov with articles and tools like the Federal Student Aid estimator; create new Pell Grant tables, expand language-specific resources, and issue policy guidance for financial aid administrators and counselors. As you will recall, there are major changes happening to the FAFSA beginning with the class of 2024, our current juniors.
There is NO mention in the announcement of how colleges will deal with those Early Decision and Early Admission applicants who will be applying for financial aid. I expect that more information will be announced by the Department in the coming months. Regarding families and students looking for financial aid in 2024, this looks to be a crazy year. Stay tuned for more
Stay tuned for more changes that I am sure will be coming before the “official” role-out, not scheduled for December 2023. If you have any questions or want to discuss how I can best support you and your student, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-285-1920.