Been hanging back and need to come up to speed quickly on the new FAFSA? Here’s help and a video that will get you caught up.
Anyone applying for financial aid for the 2024-25 school year or later will need to use the federal government’s new FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s opening late, in December, and it’s the most dramatic change in financial aid in 40 years.
That said, colleges have oddly been quiet about the changes. Many counselors are just now getting trained. Meanwhile, families are waiting and wondering. Here’s our short list of Federal Student Aid’s most helpful materials, at the moment.
Read Up First
1. Federal Student Aid’s Financial Aid Tool Kit provides the latest news and resources for upcoming changes.
2. Need the high points? Get a rundown of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the law that governs the changes to the FAFSA.
3. Learn about the Future Act, which allows the Internal Revenue Service to share tax information with Federal Student Aid, making the FAFSA easier to fill out.
Ready To Take a Deeper Dive?
For a simple overview, we recommend watching the following video on the FSA Outreach YouTube Channel to learn about all the upcoming changes to the FAFSA. This video is older and less detailed than some of the more recent videos we’ve promoted, but it offers broad strokes in simpler language.
- Contributors (who needs to help fill out the new FAFSA)
- FSA ID Requirements (who needs an FSA ID to complete the new FAFSA)
- Required Consent (new rules about allowing the IRS to share your tax information)
- Student Aid Index, or SAI (a new measure for determining aid eligibility)
- Unusual and Special Circumstances (simplified rules allowing dependent students to file their FAFSA independently)
If you’re newbie to this FAFSA, watch the video once to get a feel for things. Then use our show notes to review the sections that are most important to you.
Video Show Notes
Introduction (Minute 00:00)
Timelines: For rolling out the new FAFSA. (Minute 2:30)
Contributors: There are new rules and roles for people providing information on the FAFSA. (Minute 7:50)
FSA ID Requirements: All students and others contributing to their form must create their own account on StudentAid.gov to complete the FAFSA online. (Minute 17:30)
Direct Data Exchange: Students and contributors must provide consent for federal tax information to be shared by the IRS and used on the FAFSA. (Minute 17:30)
Student Aid Index, or SAI: This is the new number that schools and states will use to determine eligibility for need-based aid. (Minute 24:47)
Unusual and Special Circumstances: Help for students who need to file the FAFSA independently from their parents. (Minute 35:35)
More Help: (Minute 50:12)
Miya Campbell is studying fashion management at the Parsons School of Design, making the most of the marketing and writing experience she got as an undergraduate at Southern New Hampshire University. As a first-generation and low-income student, Miya is passionate about helping others with the FAFSA.