• The 2024-2025 FAFSA application process is being streamlined and made easier for students to complete.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023; typically, the FAFSA is available in October.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

A simpler FAFSA is coming.

Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act, the FAFSA is undergoing long-anticipated changes that will take effect beginning with the 2024-2025 award year. The FAFSA application process is being streamlined with a goal of making it easier to complete.

DMACC Financial Aid Director Jerry McKeen said the FAFSA is an important tool for students.

"The FAFSA is the key to unlocking financial aid and determining eligibility for a variety of scholarships," McKeen said.

The changes for 2024-2025 include:

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 again 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 (Internal Revenue Service) instead of the optional IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This should result in requiring less time to complete and result 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 and will instead require families to include the value of small businesses and family-owned farms on the FAFSA.
  • The FAFSA is introducing a new term: contributor. A contributor is anyone who is required to provide information or a student's FAFSA form, including the student, the student's spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent's spouse.

Expanding the Pell Grant eligibility

  • The adjustments to the SAI calculation will also expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

"Though intended to assist financially needy families, the FAFSA has long been an intimidating and sometimes burdensome form and process that sometimes became a hurdle to the families it was supposed to help," McKeen said. “The changes may not solve all the application issues, but eliminating questions and automating the financial information will hopefully encourage more families to not only use the form, but to take advantage of financial aid opportunities the FAFSA creates."

McKeen said changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA include a different layout and flow to the online form; fewer as well as some new questions; a more secure method of obtaining financial information; and new terminology.

"Although the 2024-2025 form is not available until December, we strongly encourage new college students and their parents to register a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID before trying to start the FAFSA so that when it is time to apply they will not be further delayed," McKeen said. "Continuing students and their parents should also ensure their ID and password is current and active. Without an active ID, one will not be able to finish, sign or correct a FAFSA application. Go to the Federal Student Aid 'Create Account page' to sign up for an FSA ID."

McKeen said two helpful videos are available via YouTube to help students if needed:

McKeen said these changes are for the 2024-2025 school year, which begins with the fall 2024 term in September.

“Students attending in spring 2024 and summer 2024 will not be affected by the new FAFSA; students attending in spring and summer need to have a 2023-2024 FAFSA on file," McKeen said.

McKeen said the DMACC Financial Aid office is closely monitoring all changes with FAFSA. or up-to-date information on FAFSA, go to the Breaking News box on the DMACC Financial Aid webpage.


Media contact: Jerry McKeen, DMACC Financial Aid, (515) 964-6514​​