The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2024-25 academic year will open in December 2023. With the delay in the FAFSA, many updates are being implemented to improve and streamline the financial aid process.
The FAFSA Simplification Act passed on Dec. 27, 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 is an initiative by the US Department of Education to provide a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in the Title IV programs.
- The 2024-25 FAFSA will open in December 2023 instead of October 1. However, for 2025-26 and beyond, we will return to the October 1 open date.
- Parents/Guardians: Who should be reported on the 2024-2025 FAFSA as a contributor? Click here for more information!
- Experience a more streamlined and user-friendly FAFSA now with fewer questions. Going from over 100 questions down to just 36!
- Expanded aid eligibility due to larger income protection allowances.
- The IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) makes entering tax information easier and will require students, spouses, and parents to transfer their 2022 tax information or non-filing status. This will be required to be eligible for Federal and State aid and will replace the IRS DRT that families used to opt into.
- Number in college will no longer factor into the FAFSA calculation.
- Untaxed items such as payments to tax-deferred retirement or pension plans, veteran’s non-educational benefits, and worker’s compensation will no longer be required.
- Parent assets will now include all businesses’ net worth and a family farm’s net worth, if applicable.
- Divorced or separated parent changes – the parent who provided the most financial support to the student will need to provide their information. Previously, the parent whom the student lived with the most provided their information.
- Up to 20 schools can be listed by the student on the FAFSA form.
New Terms to Know
- Name Change of EFC. The FAFSA will no longer calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but will now calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI).
- Contributor: a parent, step-parent, student, or spouse of the student providing information to the FAFSA.
- Consent: required from all contributors for the IRS to share tax data directly to the FAFSA. Not providing consent will automatically make the student ineligible for aid.
- Direct Data Exchange (DDX): previously known as IRS Data Retrieval, this tool imports tax data directly from the IRS to your FAFSA.
- FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): a summary of your completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used in previous years.
How can I prepare?
- Mark your calendar for December 2023! There will be communication from WLU to our accepted students as well as from the US Department of Education once we know the official date. You can complete the FAFSA by logging into studentaid.gov or by clicking here.
- FSA ID! A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is required for all contributors, including the student. Apply for your FSA ID account now!
- Determine your contributors now! The FAFSA will also offer assistance when filing.
- The student is a contributor!
- Parent(s) if the student is a dependent student.
- Step-parent, if the parent deemed as a contributor is remarried.
- Spouse of student
- WLU Federal School Code: 003823