2024-2025 FAFSA Simplification

Due to the passing of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the FAFSA is undergoing long anticipated changes that will take effect with the 2024-2025 award year.

The 2024-2025 FAFSA is for the school year of September 2024 through August 2025.

Changes include:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023.
  • Typically the FAFSA is available in October.
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
  • New terminology will be used in the 2024-2025 FAFSA (see examples below).
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

FAFSA changes for 2024-2025

FAFSA availability

Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023. This is only temporary. In future years the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.

Streamlined application process

The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the optional IRS Data Retrieval Tool. More applicants will be able to use the direct from IRS method requiring less time to complete and resulting in fewer errors.

New terminology and requested information changes

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI).
    • The new SAI formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation
    • Negative SAI.  Unlike the EFC under the old version, the SAI can be a negative number, down to -1,500.  This number can be used by schools for determining families with the most financial need.
    • The new formula will require families to include the value of small business and family owned farms on the FAFSA.
  • The FAFSA is introducing the new term, Contributor.
    • A contributor is anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse.
  • FAFSA Submission Summary
    • Replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) ass the student’s output document providing a summary of data input on the FAFSA form.
  • Family Size
    • eplaces the term “household size” on the FAAFSA form.  It captures the number of family members and dependents in the applicant’s household.
  • Expanding Pell Grant eligibility
    • The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.
  • Enrollment Intensity
    • The percentage of full-time enrollment at which a student is enrolled, rounded to the nearest whole percent used to determine a student’s annual Pell Grant award.  For example, if full-time enrollment is 12 or more credit hours and the student is enrolled in 7 hours, the enrollment intensity would be (7 / 12) x 100% = 58%.  The student would receive 58% of a full Pell Grant award for the payment period. 

What you can do now

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  • Create, or ensure you still have an active FSA ID and password on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID and password, if needed.
  • Step by step instruction videos are available below.

How to create an account and FSA ID and Password

How to regain Access to your FSA ID and Password

​An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.

With the FSA ID you can:

  • Complete the FAFSA when it’s available
  • Make corrections or updates to the FAFSA, if needed
  • Sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN) for your student loan
  • Complete entrance loan counseling.


Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) – Preparing Iowa students for future success through a variety of education and career opportunities.

Iowa College Aid - State agency supporting Iowans as they complete education opportunities beyond high school through numerous scholarship and grant programs

Studentaid.gov – Federal website with information on all federal financial aid programs and related requirements. Also, home to individual student portals, and the FAFSA application.