2024–25 FAFSA Simplification Changes

Last Updated: March 22, 2024

Update on 2024-25 financial aid offers

Based on the recent announcement from Federal Student Aid regarding a late release of aid reports to schools based on FAFSA applications, we anticipate first time freshman financial aid offers to be delayed until the end of May. Should any further delays be announced, we will update this page accordingly. For continuing students, aid offers cannot be made until after Satisfactory Academic Progress(SAP) is calculated after Spring semester grades are posted and Spring Academic Standing is determined.

There are major federal changes in progress on the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA®). These changes are aimed at making it easier for students and their families to apply for financial aid with a more streamlined application process.  

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Part of the changes include modifications to the FAFSA form, the methodology used in considering income, and household information, along with several new regulations and procedures for schools who participate in federal student aid programs to follow.

2024–25 FAFSA has been soft-launched

The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is available periodically as part of a soft launch. During the soft launch, the FAFSA form will be available for short periods of time while the Department of Education monitors site performance and form functionality. Updates and additional resources will continue to be posted here when announced by the Federal Student Aid programs office, a division of the Office of the U.S. Department of Education. 

Ways to Stay Informed...

  1. Did you fill out a FAFSA form for 2023–24? Log in to your StudentAid.gov account and be sure to confirm Federal Student Aid has got your current email address. Once the exact FAFSA launch date is announced, this system will send out an email to students (and parents of dependent students) who applied on the 2023–24 form, reminding them to apply for 2024–25.
  2. Didn’t submit a 2023–24 FAFSA form? Make sure to create your StudentAid.gov account—and remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form whenever it is available.

What Is Changing?

  • Streamlined application process which is shorter and more user-friendly
    The FAFSA will have fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    This rename helps to clarify that it is simply an index to determine your eligibility for aid. The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, better reflects the FAFSA results, and implements a separate eligibility determination criterion for Federal Pell Grants.
  • New terminology
    • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent(s), and stepparent(s) for example. 
    • Consent: each contributor will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return. 
    • SAI: Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 
    • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS.
  • The parent responsible for submitting the FAFSA in cases of divorce or separation has changed
    For students whose parents are divorced or separated, the Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent who provides you with the most financial support and will no longer be the parent with whom you lived with the most over the past 12 months.
  • Applicants will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange
    All contributors must provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred directly into the student's FAFSA form via direct data exchange with the IRS. If any contributor doesn't provide consent and approval, submission of the FAFSA form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index, which replaces the Expected Family Contribution, will not be calculated and the student won't be eligible for federal student aid.
  • Applicants can list more schools on the FAFSA
    Students will be able to list up to 20 colleges on their online FAFSA form and 10 colleges when filling out the downloaded PDF FAFSA.
  • Provision for applicants who cannot provide parental information
    Foster, homeless, and unaccompanied youth—as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information—will be able to complete the form with a provisional independent student determination and receive a calculated SAI.
  • Expanding access to the Federal Pell Grant
    • The FAFSA Simplification Act will expand the Federal Pell Grant to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level (starting with the 2024–25 academic year).
    • Incarcerated students in federal and state penal facilities will regain the ability to receive a Federal Pell Grant (starting with the 2023–24 academic year).
    • Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility will be restored to students whose school closed while they were enrolled or if the school is found to have misled the student (starting with the 2023–24 academic year).
  • More language resources
    Resources for completing the FAFSA form will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States.

What Is Not Changing?

While the FAFSA is receiving an update and the aid eligibility calculation has been revised, there are a number of aid-related matters that will not change.

  • For UAA students, the 2024-25 University of Alaska General Scholarship Application that opened on October 1 will still close on February 15 at 11:59 p.m.
  • The general types of aid available to UAA students and federal student loan limits will not change.
  • The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
  • The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you'll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024–25 FAFSA application. Families with significant reductions in income can consider submitting an income override request. Forms will be available in February 2024.
  • UAA admission application deadlines will not change.
  • The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race, and ethnicity will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and are included for statistical purposes and data collection only. In fact, UAA will not receive this data from the FAFSA record sent to our institution.


UAA is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. Due to the significant amount of changes that are occurring, portions of our website may not yet be 100% accurate for the 2024–25 academic year. We'll continue to update this page as we receive more information from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid, and appreciate your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.