The FAFSA Simplification Act provides a streamlined process for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), redefines terms that were misleading and expands the federal Pell Grant program to enable more students to qualify.
Salve Regina's mission drives us to support our community throughout this transition. As we navigate the changes to the financial aid process for the 2024-2025 academic year, we are committed to providing individualized counseling for families to understand these enhancements to the federal financial aid program. This includes allocation of Salve Regina's own financial resources to help those who might be impacted by these changes.
More information will be provided here as it becomes available.
What is FAFSA Simplification?
The FAFSA Simplification Act includes unprecedented changes to how students and families apply for federal student aid and how eligibility is determined, providing a better and simpler experience with the FAFSA form.
The FAFSA Simplification Act reduces the number of questions on the FAFSA, expands Pell Grant eligibility and removes outdated restrictions to make federal student aid more accessible to all students. Additional improvements include a direct exchange with the IRS for income data elements, a new "Who's My Parent?" wizard and a single consolidated portal for assistance and resources. See the full list of changes.
What Has Changed?
FAFSA release date: The U.S. Department of Education is delaying the release of the 2024-2025 FAFSA until December, two months after the usual Oct. 1 release. The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025 and summer 2025 terms. Please note that this delay is temporary. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available Oct. 1 as usual.
Streamlined application process: The FAFSA will feature fewer questions and requirements. It will also retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
New terminology: The formula to determine financial aid, formally known as the Expected Family Contribution, will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index. The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, better reflects the FAFSA results and implements separate criteria for federal Pell Grants.
The FAFSA will also introduce the new term "contributor," which refers to 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. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs.
Expanding Pell Grant eligibility: The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index calculation will expand federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.
What is the Revised Timeline?
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 year opens.
- Estimated financial aid offers are sent to first-year and transfer students.
- If you are admitted to the University as a first-year or transfer student and have completed the financial aid process, a paper copy of your financial aid offer will be mailed to your home address. The offer will also be posted to your student portal.
- Returning students will not receive an estimated financial aid offer until late spring.
- Estimated financial aid notices are sent to returning students via their salve.edu email address.
How Can I Prepare for the FAFSA?
While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won't be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:
- First-year students should create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID. 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.
- Returning students should locate the FSA ID and password they previously used to log in to the Federal Student Aid website.
- With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it's available and sign your Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling (first-year borrowers only). For the future, you will also use your FSA ID to apply for repayment plans, complete loan exit counseling and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool (if applicable).
- Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.
For School Counselors and Advocates
According to the U.S. Department of Education, beginning with the 2024-2025 award year, financial aid administrators can no longer file an original or renewal FAFSA on the student's (or family's) behalf using FAFSA on the Web, FAA Access, EDExpress or any other method. This includes school counselors, advocates and third parties who assist students, and there are no exceptions.
As in the past, financial aid administrators can assist students and families in preparing to file the FAFSA, but the administrator cannot enter that data into FAFSA on the Web, FAA Access, etc. for the student or family. However, the financial aid administrator can still 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, which requires consent from each FAFSA contributor (student, spouse, parent as applicable) to obtain federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service, as well as to protect the confidentiality of that information. See detailed information about the 2024-2025 FAFSA changes.