FAFSA Changes Beginning 2024-2025

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is getting some major revisions starting with the 2024-2025 year.  Due to these large revisions, the 2024-2025 application is delayed until December 31, 2023 instead of the usual October 1st date. 

FAFSA Changes

The FAFSA will be reduced to a maximum of 46 questions from the current 108 questions. An enhanced streamlined format has been added so some students won’t even be presented with all 46 questions.

The FAFSA will be offered in the 11 most common languages spoken in the U.S.

Previously, only 10 colleges could be included on the FAFSA.


There is a new term being introduced for the 2024-2025 FAFSA–“contributor”.

A contributor is:

  • the student
  • student’s spouse (if applicable)
  • biological or adoptive parent(s)
  • or spouse (stepparent) of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA.

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.

There is no longer a separate signature page for students and/or contributors who do not or refuse to create an FSA ID. Students and contributors will be required to have an FSA ID to complete their FAFSA online.

An alternative option for contributors to provide consent who do not want to or refuse to create an FSA ID is to submit a paper FAFSA form completed by all contributors and mailed to the Federal Student Aid. This method is not recommended due to complexity and increased processing time.

The “parent of record” has changed for the 2024-2025 FAFSA. For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) with whom the student lived the most in the last 12 months. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the parent of record will be from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student in the last 12 months, even if the student does not live with that parent or other parent.

Parent(s) of record:

  • Parents who live together
    Parental income and assets in the case of student whose parents are married and not separated, or who are unmarried but live together, shall include the income and assets of both parents.
  • Divorced or separated parents
    Parental income and assets for a student whose parents are divorced or separated, but not remarried, is determined by including only the income and assets of the parent who provides the greater portion of the student’s financial support.
  • Death of a parent
    Parental income and assets in the case of the death of any parent is determined as follows:
    (A) If either of the parents has died, the surviving parent shall be considered a single parent, until that parent has remarried.
    (B) If both parents have died, the student shall not report any parental income or assets.
  • Remarried parents
    If a parent whose income and assets are taken into account under paragraph (2), or if a parent who is a widow or widower and whose income is taken into account under paragraph (3), has remarried, the income of that parent’s spouse shall be included in determining the parent’s assessment of adjusted available income if the student’s parent and the stepparent are married as of the date of application for the award year concerned.
  • Single parent who is not divorced or separated
    Parental income and assets in the case of a student whose parent is not described in paragraph (1) and is a single parent who is not divorced, separated, or remarried, shall include the income and assets of such single parent.

Terminology updated to more accurately describe the number used to determine aid eligibility. Unlike the EFC, the SAI maybe a negative number down to -1500

Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all contributors on the FAFSA will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange to share their tax information or verify non-filing status. Each contributor must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive this information via the Direct Data Exchange. 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.

Previously, the number of household members attending college was calculated in the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are attending college, but your answer will not be used in the SAI calculation. Due to this change, current undergraduate Valpo students who had siblings in college may see a change in their financial aid eligibility.

When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. This was previously excluded. 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.

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.

The U.S. Department of Education provides publications, fact sheets, online tools and other resources to help you prepare and pay for college.

  • Access these additional resources at any time online
  • Register for Free “How To Prepare for the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form” webinar on Oct. 25, 2023. Registration is free and can be found here.