Top 5 Things You Should Know About Changes to the FAFSA

The new process will make the form simpler, more streamlined
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The U.S. Department of Education is making changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which students should fill out each year.

The changes are the result of the FAFSA Simplification Act. Here are the top five things you need to know about the change.

1. The FAFSA will be available later than usual.

The FAFSA forms are typically available Oct. 1 of each year. This year, they will be available later than that. The Department of Education has announced the application is expected to be open by Dec. 31.

Every student should fill out the FAFSA every year. UMKC students should file by the April 1 priority deadline to increase their chances of receiving grants and scholarships.

2. Your parent or spouse will need their own login.

Spouses and parents who provide information in the FAFSA will be called contributors. They’ll also be required to create their own logins. If your parent or spouse will be a contributor, encourage them to create an ID now to ensure they’re able to fill out their portion of your FAFSA quickly.

3. The application will have fewer questions.

The updated FAFSA is much shorter and can pull information directly from your income tax return.

To pull from your income tax return, you’ll need to consent via your FSA ID. If you do not have an FSA ID, you can create one now so you’re ready when the FAFSA is available.

Other helpful information to gather includes:

  • Legal Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number (if applicable)
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Note the UMKC FAFSA code: 002518
4. The new form uses different terminology.

The 2024-25 form has new terminology that may replace older terms you’re familiar with.

Notably, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the term “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC). This term refers to a student’s approximate financial resources available to contribute to their education.

5. The change will expand access to federal Pell Grants.

More students will be eligible for Pell Grants. Eligibility will be linked to family size and the federal poverty level.

Published: Nov 21, 2023

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