FAFSA Simplification

FAFSA Simplification

Financial Aid

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.

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The FAFSA Simplification Act reduces the number of questions on the FAFSA, expands Pell Grant eligibility and removes outdated restrictions to make federal student aid more accessible to all students.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.

Expanding Pell Grant eligibility: The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index calculation will expand federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

New Terminology

Student Aid Index: An eligibility index number that the Office of Financial Aid will use to determine how much federal student aid the student would receive if the student attended Salve Regina. This number results from the information that the student provides in the FAFSA.

Contributor: Anyone who is required to provide information in the support of the student's financial aid application. A contributor is a parent, guardian or student's spouse. Each contributor will be required to have their own Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID and need to consent to their information being included on the student's FAFSA.

IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Allows the student and contributor(s) to have their IRS data transferred directly to the FAFSA. There is no opt-out of this requirement. If a contributor(s) does not consent, the student will be ineligible for federal aid. (Consent is the process to approve the use of DDX; it requires an FSA ID and must be granted by all contributors to receive federal aid.)

Unusual circumstances: For applicants who would like to request a review of their dependency status for financial aid consideration. Under the new FAFSA, students will automatically be granted provisional independent status.

What is the Revised Timeline?

You may be aware of the FAFSA processing delays due to the implementation of FAFSA simplification. We are closely monitoring the rollout and will be working diligently to email financial aid offers for the upcoming year in a timely manner once we have access to FAFSA information.

As we adapt to the financial aid process changes for the 2024-2025 academic year, we are dedicated to assisting you during this transition period and ensuring that you comprehend the enhancements to the federal financial aid program.

December 2023

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 year opens.

January-March 2024

  • Students and families continue to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA.
  • In mid-March, the Department of Education will commence the distribution of ISIRs (Institutional Student Information Records) to institutions in batches. These records contain crucial financial aid information for students, including the Student Aid Index (SAI) and other details necessary for determining eligibility for various types of financial assistance.
  • Once we begin to receive ISIR information, our financial aid team will begin to review and send out financial aid offers to admitted students.

March-April 2024

  • March 1 is the priority deadline to complete the FAFSA.
  • Estimated financial aid offers are sent to admitted first-year and transfer students. If you are admitted to the University and have completed the financial aid process, your financial aid offer will be uploaded to your student portal and you will be notified via email. A paper copy of your financial aid offer will be mailed to your home address for your convenience and reference. This ensures clarity and provides multiple avenues for you to access and review your financial aid information.

April-June 2024

  • Estimated financial aid offers 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.