The FAFSA Is Getting a Makeover Later This Year — Here's What's Changing

The FAFSA is changing and it's going to make things easier for students.

The FAFSA Is Getting a Makeover Later This Year — Here's What's Changing

You're likely familiar with the anxiety, confusion, and tears that can accompany the Free Application for Student Aid.

We hope that future students will not feel your pain.

A draft of the revised FAFSA form has been released by the Department of Education (ED) and is open for public comment.

The Congress approved the

FAFSA Simplification Bill

2020 will see a reduction in the number of questions required to complete the application. This will make Pell Grants and federal aid more accessible.

The new application will be available for the 2024-25 school years on December 1. This will delay the usual application and financial aid package cycles, which typically begin with the opening FAFSA in October.

It is possible to see the a

Send comments to ED and download the PDF version of your new application

Before May 23, These are some of the most significant changes.

Elimination of eligibility questions and expansion

Some of the changes will be visible to families and students who complete the FAFSA form for the 2023-24 school years.

Selective Service registration, which required male students to register for the draft as a requirement of enrollment in the draft, was eliminated by the FAFSA Simplification Act. It has not been included on the form since 2021. Federal aid is no longer available to students who have to register for Selective Service.

Questions about drug-related convictions have been removed from the FAFSA. These students are eligible for Pell Grants.

Pell Grants are available to students who are currently in federal or state prisons and are enrolled in approved programs for prison education. Pell Grant eligibility will also be granted to students who were subject to an involuntary criminal commitment for a sexual crime.

Easier information input

No more digging through tax returns to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA Simplification Act required that users can pull their federal tax information directly form the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Some new questions have been added to the FAFSA. These include students' sex, race, and ethnicity.

Expected Family Contribution is now Student Aid Index

The FAFSA's primary purpose was to calculate your Expected Family contribution (EFC) which is the annual amount your family would pay. This number was used to give your school and federal assistance administrators an idea of the amount of financial support they could offer.

The student aid index (SAI), which serves the same purpose but uses a different formula, will be used. The SAI, unlike the EFC will not include family members who are enrolled in college. Federal Student Aid (FSA)

A draft of the calculations was published

To determine SAI.

Your SAI can be negative up to a minimum -$1,500. This allows colleges to identify the most needy students and not just a group of students with a $0 EFC.

According to the non-profit National Association of Financial Aid Administrators


Students who have an SAI of between $0 and $1500 can be eligible for the maximum Pell Grant which is $7,395 in the 2023-24 school years.

FSA states that aid administrators will subtract student's SAI from the determined cost of attendance to determine eligibility for aid.

Calculation of Pell Grant changes

The new FAFSA will change how Pell Grant amounts and eligibility are calculated. The current aid administrators use the following:

Table that takes into account your EFC as well as the cost of attendance

To determine the amount of your Pell Grant.

Students with an SAI below $0 will be eligible to receive the maximum Pell Grant amount of $7,395 for 2023-24.

You may be eligible for a smaller grant if your SAI exceeds the maximum Pell Grant amount

According to the FSA factsheet


If your SAI exceeds the,

Maximum amount of Pell Grant

You may still be eligible for the minimum amount, depending on your family size and adjusted gross income. For the 2023-24 school years, the minimum Pell Grant amount was $750. This applies to full-time students.

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