2024-25 FAFSA Changes

FAFSA Simplification Act

The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This law reduces the number of questions students will have to answer on the form, makes crucial changes to the Higher Education Act of 1965 to expand Pell Grant eligibility and removes outdated restrictions to make federal student aid more accessible to all students.

View a full listing of changes for the 2023-2024 award year here.

Students are encouraged to login or create an account on Federal Student Aid and be on the lookout for more information from Federal Student Aid. A communication from the Department of Education has been sent to students and families of 2023-2024 FAFSA filers as of 9/29/2023.

2024-25 FAFSA Frequently Asked Questions (Updated on March 28, 2024)

This listing of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from the Department of Education will be updated periodically and include the date of the update. New and/or updated questions and answers will be marked NEW or UPDATED.

FAFSA Delivery Rollout, Updated Issue Alerts, and New FAFSA Functionality (Updated on March 13, 2024)

In an electronic announcement, the Department of Education (ED) posted that the transmission of FAFSA records has formally begun and will gradually ramp up. The announcement also highlighted the resolution of four issues, the availability of the FAFSA Submission Summary for students, and identified new issues.  

FAFSA Student Aid Index Update and Timeline (Updated Jan 30, 2024)

The US Department of Education (ED) has provided an important update regarding the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process. This Electronic Announcement provides further details regarding aid eligibility and the post-processing experience for students, institutions, state higher-education agencies, and scholarship organizations.  

To account for inflationary adjustments as required under the law, the Department has updated the supporting tables used in the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation, ensuring that students are benefiting from approximately an additional $1.8 billion in aid. These tables, which directly impact eligibility for need-based federal student aid, detail the allowances against income and assets reported by students and families on their FAFSA form. 

In the coming weeks, ED will be updating the Federal Processing System (FPS) to include the updated tables. Based upon estimations for completing that work, the Department will begin transmitting batches of FAFSA information to schools and state agencies in the first half of March, which will include the updated SAI tables. ED anticipates catching up with the majority of FAFSA transmissions to schools in the weeks following the beginning of the FAFSA delivery.

FAFSA Distribution to Institutions (updated on Jan 23, 2024)

The Department of Education (ED) on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, announced that it will update the tables used to protect a portion of a family’s income and assets from being considered in the Student Aid Index (SAI) by inflation-adjusted amounts.  This means that more students will be eligible for more grant aid.  Unfortunately, ED did not give a timeline of when or how the new tables will be implemented and if this will impact their distribution of FAFSAs to institutions at the end of January as originally stated.

2024–25 FAFSA Issue Alerts

The Department of Education (ED) has created a page to monitor FAFSA Issues as they are in the soft launch period of the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. During the soft launch period, they will monitor site performance, conduct pauses for maintenance, and make updates to improve the user experience for students and families.

2024–25 FAFSA Issue Alerts

2024-2025 FAFSA Soft Launch (Updated Jan 2, 2024)

The Department of Education (ED) this weekend has begun its soft launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA, during which time the application will be available to students and families periodically as the department pulls the form down from time to time to perform maintenance and address any potential issues. Students and families who do access the form will not need to resubmit the form once the soft launch ends. The department has not specified how long the soft launch will last, nor when the planned pauses will take place. 

During this time, Federal Student Aid (FSA) has stressed that applicants do not need to rush to complete the application during the soft launch since FSA will not transmit FAFSAs to institutions until later in January.

2024-2025 FAFSA Release – December 31, 2023

Due to the major changes, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid has indicated they will be ready to offer the simplified application for the upcoming cycle.

On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Federal Student Aid (FSA) announced that the 2024-25 FAFSA will go live by December 31, 2023, meeting the statutory requirement that the form must be available by January 1. 

Along with the release date, FSA announced in its FAFSA road map that, while the application itself will be live, it will not begin processing FAFSA forms submitted online until January 2024. Institutions will begin receiving Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) by the end of January 2024.

FSA clarified in the call that once a student completes the online FAFSA, they will get a confirmation page that includes their estimated Student Aid Index (SAI) and Federal Pell Grant eligibility, along with a follow-up email. It will also include messaging about what to expect next.

FSA will begin processing paper FAFSAs in February 2024. Students will be able to make corrections once ISIRs are processed, while institutions will not be able to submit corrections until February, FSA states.

2024-2025 Federal Student Aid Estimator Tool

The Federal Student Aid Estimator provides students and families an estimate of their 2024-2025 federal financial aid using the new Student Aid Index (SAI).

Please note: This is not a FAFSA. Students will need to complete a 2024-2025 FAFSA when it becomes available after December 2023.

Federal Student Aid Webinars

Federal Student Aid has released a series of educational webinars related to recent changes in federal aid including the 2024-2025 FAFSA. You can view these videos on their YouTube channel.

The webinar below shows a prototype of the 2024-2025 FAFSA for dependent students.

2024-2025 FAFSA Roadmap for Students and Families

The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) includes unprecedented changes to how students and families apply for federal student aid and how we determine eligibility, giving students a better and simpler experience with the FAFSA form. Improvements include a direct data exchange with the IRS for income data elements, a new “Who’s My Parent?” wizard, and a single consolidated portal for all FAFSA help resources.

To help ensure that students and families—and the partners critical to getting student aid dollars into the hands of students—are best prepared for a successful 2024–25 FAFSA cycle, Federal Student Aid has launched the Better FAFSA Better Future Roadmap, which includes the timeline for students and families below.

Summer 2023: Preparing for 2024–25 FAFSA Outreach Campaign
A communications campaign, including videos, directed to students and families highlights what they should do to prepare for the new FAFSA form. The campaign also will provide key facts about what to expect from the new FAFSA process, including how to create an FSA ID, features of the 2024–25 FAFSA form, and Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

Summer through Fall 2023: Financial Aid Estimator and Preview Tools
Online tools for students and families will provide an early estimate of their Student Aid Index and potential eligibility, as well as visual previews of the new FAFSA form.

Summer 2023 through Winter 2024: FAFSA Information Updates on Federal Student Aid
Ongoing updates to FAFSA information and help resources will be posted to StudentAid.gov including FAFSA process implementation updates.

November 2023 - February 2024: FSA YouTube Channel Updates
FSA will develop videos to engage students and families. Topics will include “Preparing for the FAFSA Form” and “2024-25 FAFSA FAQs”.

By December 31, 2023: 2024–25 FAFSA Form Available

Beginning November 2023: FSA Social Media Outreach
Ongoing multi-channel social media campaign to prepare students and families for the 2024-25 FAFSA.

January 2024: 2024-25 ISIR and FAFSA Submission Summaries Available
FSA will complete eligibility determination and begin transmitting Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and FAFSA Submission Summaries to states, institutions, and applicants.

For Guidance Counselors & Advocates

According to the U.S. Department of Education (ED), beginning with the 2024-25 award year, the financial aid administrator (FAA) will no longer be able to file an original or a renewal FAFSA on the student's (or parent's) behalf. This means the FAA will no longer be able to file a FAFSA on the student's behalf using FAFSA on the Web, FAA Access, EDExpress, or any other method. There are no exceptions, not even for incarcerated students. According to a webinar held by FSA on July 13th, 2023, FAAs include guidance counselors, advocates, and third parties who assist students.

As in the past, the FAA can assist the student or parent when preparing to file the FAFSA (as a preparer), such as when completing the paper FAFSA, but the FAA cannot enter that data into FOTW, FAA Access, etc. for the student or parent; the paper FAFSA will need to be mailed to the Federal Processing System (FPS, formerly CPS). Also, as in the past, the FAA will still be able to submit corrections, updates, and adjustments to FAFSA data.

This restriction is due to requirements under the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act (FUTURE Act), which requires consent from each FAFSA contributor (student, spouse, parent as applicable) to obtain federal tax information (FTI) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as well as to protect the confidentiality of that FTI. See the May 12, 2023 Electronic Announcement (GENERAL-23-34), Access and Use of Federal Tax Information (FTI) for Federal Student Aid Programs Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA Processing Cycle.

Counselors can find detailed information about the 2024-2025 FAFSA changes here.

Summer 2023: Financial Aid Estimator and Preview Tools
Online tools for students and families will provide an early estimate of their Student Aid Index and potential eligibility, as well as visual previews of the 2024–25 FAFSA form.

Summer through Fall 2023: Counselor Training
Webinars and train-the-trainer sessions, offered in collaboration with college access organizations, will provide detailed training to counselors about the key changes in the application process and eligibility determination. This training will help counselors better support students and families.

Summer through Fall 2023: Fact Sheets
One-page resources for counselors about priority topics identified by college access professionals will include understanding the Student Aid Index, creating an FSA ID, assisting students with unusual circumstances, and use of federal tax information.

Beginning November 2023: 2024-25 FAFSA Updates Feature
This tool embedded into the Knowledge Center FAFSA Simplification Information page will provide regular updates on FAFSA development timing, webinars and release of additional resources.

November 28 - December 1, 2023: Federal Student Aid Training Conference
Training conference topics will include a Federal Update, FAFSA Updates, Data Use and Considerations Under the FUTURE And FAFSA Simplification Act, Update on Prison Education Programs for Confined or Incarcerated Individuals, FAFSA Simplification: Application and Need Analysis, Calculating a Federal Pell Grant, and COD Updates.

By December 31, 2023: 2024–25 FAFSA Form Available

January – March 2024: Monthly Webinars
FSA will conduct webinars to address frequently asked questions. Details for upcoming webinars will be shared via the Partner Email and Social Media Posts. Please sign up for Partner Emails: Partner Email Registration | Federal Student Aid.

January 2024: 2024-25 ISIR and FAFSA Submission Summaries Available
FSA will complete eligibility determination and begin transmitting Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and FAFSA Submission Summaries to states, institutions, and applicants.

Winter 2024: 2024-25 PDF FAFSA Processing and Institutional Corrections
FSA will begin processing PDF (paper) FAFSA forms and producing output documents including Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and FAFSA Submission Summaries. Institutions will also be able to submit corrections to ISIRs via the FAFSA Partner Portal or their financial aid management systems. FSA will provide regular status updates on the FAFSA Simplification Information Topics page on the Knowledge Center.

Linn-Benton Community College is committed to keeping students, families, and our community updated. As we receive more information from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid, we will update this webpage.

LBCC Office of Financial Aid & Veterans
Takena Hall - 117
P: 541-917-4864 | E: faoffice@linnbenton.edu