Impact of FAFSA Simplification
In December of 2020, Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act to streamline the FAFSA application process for students and families seeking financial aid. This legislation, among other significant key changes, will reduce the number of questions that students see when completing the FAFSA, will attempt to make the questions asked clearer, and will aim to increase Federal Pell Grant eligibility. While there may be instances where the FAFSA simplification increases certain students' eligibility for financial aid, other students may see a reduction in aid. The following list of significant changes in the FAFSA may impact how applications are processed and how financial aid offers are made to students.
When will the changes happen?
FAFSA simplification changes will begin with the 2024–2025 FAFSA application period. Due to the changes, the 2024–2025 FAFSA will not be available on the traditional October 1 date. The anticipated launch date of the 2024–25 FAFSA will be December 31, 2023. Schools will be able to receive aid eligibility information which includes the Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) by the end of January 2024. Subsequently, paper forms will follow. During this time, students will have the opportunity to make necessary corrections and updates to FAFSA while institutions will be able to make corrections in the weeks following. Direct links to specific state applications, as well as the option for unpaid preparers to fill out the FAFSA form on behalf of students will commence with the 2025-2026 FAFSA. To complete the FAFSA application (when available), please click here. Due to the FAFSA Simplification Act and the anticipation of the 24-25 FAFSA becoming available by December 31, the deposit deadline for prospective Early Decision I applicants will likely be extended. Stevens will communicate more information when it is available.
What are the changes?
There will be fewer questions when completing the 2024–2025 FAFSA and an easier way to transfer tax information directly from the IRS.
The FAFSA Simplification Act aims to increase the number of students eligible for Federal Pell Grants and links eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
The term "EFC" (expected family contribution) is changing and will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This is a new need analysis formula that Stevens will use when awarding federal and institutional need-based aid.
SAI will no longer take the number of students in college into consideration. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.
For students, whose parents are separated or divorced, the guidance on which parent income to report has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.
Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for a Federal Student Aid ID. This will speed up FAFSA processing time as they will be able to submit the form online, rather than having to print, sign, and mail their application.
Students who qualify for a dependency override due to homelessness or not being able to access their parents’ financials no longer need to recertify their dependency status each year unless their situation changes.
Male students under the age of 26 are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System to receive federal financial aid.
There may be new terms like contributor (anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA, such as a parent or student’s spouse) and consent (each contributor will need to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA).
Once the FAFSA form is complete, students will receive a confirmation email including their estimated Student Aid Index and Pell Grant eligibility.
View additional information about the FAFSA Simplification Act.
Stevens Institute of Technology remains committed to making your future education affordable for you and your family. The Office of Financial Aid is here to support you if you have any questions regarding the FAFSA Simplification Act and the new FAFSA application. Our office can be reached by phone at 201-268-5406 or via email at email@example.com.
Please feel free to visit our How to Apply for Aid website for additional information.