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New FAFSA for 2024-2025

Alert icon Disclaimer SCU’s Financial Aid Office is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. Due to the significant amount of changes that are occurring, portions of our website may not yet be 100% accurate for the 2024-2025 academic year. We’ll continue to update this page as we receive more information from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid, and appreciate your patience as we work to implement changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.

What's Changed for the 2024-25 FAFSA Application?


The FAFSA Simplification Act is an initiative by the United States Department of Education to make applying for federal student aid easier for students. It is the first major redesign of the FAFSA process in over 40 years and presents a significant overhaul of federal student aid. The Act impacts the 2024-25 FAFSA form, federal need analysis, and requires modification of policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

Significant Changes Include:

Simplified Application Process:

  • Reduction in the number of application questions has streamlined the FAFSA form completion process.
  • Decreased time to complete the FAFSA form.

Expanded Eligibility for Federal Pell Grant:

  • More students will qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
  • Some students may receive a higher amount of Federal Pell Grant than previously eligible.

Reduced Barriers for Applicants:

  • Federal Tax Information (FTI) requested is secure and transferred for all taxpayers.
  • Both students and parents/guardians can create Federal Student Aid (FSA) IDs, including those without a Social Security Number (SSN).
  • FSA IDs are the username and password required for FAFSA submission.

Change from Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to Student Aid Index (SAI):

  • Starting from the 2024-2025 FAFSA, EFC is replaced by SAI.
  • SAI is the new tool for determining and awarding need-based grants and scholarships as well as federal aid eligibility. 

Difference in FAFSA Questions:

  • The FAFSA will no longer inquire about the number of family members in college nor will it have an impact on the SAI calculation. 

Potential Negative SAI:

  • The SAI may be a negative number, with a minimum SAI of -1,500, as opposed to starting from zero.

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.


Common Questions:

  • An FSA ID created using a Social Security Number (SSN) will take around 1-3 days to be verified and ready to use to complete a FAFSA. We recommend creating it a few days before starting the FAFSA . 
  • An FSA ID created without using a SSN will be immediately verified and is ready to use to complete the FAFSA instantly. 
    • Currently, there are technical issues with the process that FSA is fixing; in the meantime, you may experience difficulties creating a non-SSN FSA ID.
  • Most international students are not eligible to receive federal student aid, but there are opportunities to find private aid, such as scholarships. The FAFSA is open to U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens
  • Grandparents, Foster parents, Legal guardians, Brothers or sisters Aunts or uncles.
  • For 2024-2025, FSA no longer looks at which parent the student lived with when determining the ‘Parent of Record’ in cases where legal parents are neither married to each other nor unmarried but living together. The key question is now which parent provided the most financial support in the last 12 months? The parent who provided the most support is considered to be the ‘Parent of Record’ and must complete the FAFSA. 
    • If the financial support amounts are exactly the same for each legal parent, then the tiebreaker question is which parent has greater assets when FAFSA is being completed. The parent with the greatest assets is the ‘Parent of Record.’
  • If the ‘Parent of Record’ is married at the time of FAFSA filing, the parent’s spouse is also a required FAFSA contributor.
    • FSA will provide a ‘wizard’ as part of the FAFSA on the Web process to help the student determine who is treated as ‘parent’ or ‘parents’ on the FAFSA.
  • With consent and approval, your federal tax information will be automatically transferred from the IRS to help complete the FAFSA form. If consent and approval are not provided by the student and all contributors on the FAFSA form, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid, including grants and loans. All participants must provide consent and approval even if they didn’t file a U.S. federal tax return or any tax return at all.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025 terms.
  • The FAFSA remains required annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens.
  • Questions introduced in 2023-2024 about the applicant's sex, race, and ethnicity have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and remain only for statistical purposes.