FAFSA Changes for 2024–2025

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–2025 award year. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need calculation, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs. The law will also affect every state that uses FAFSA data to award state grant aid and every school that participates in the federal student aid programs.

Key Changes

  • The 2024–2025 FAFSA opened in DECEMBER 2023. This is expected to be a temporary change, and in future years the FAFSA will open on October 1 again.
  • The Federal government is holding submitted FAFSA’s awaiting a correction in the aid formula. Colleges and Universities cannot provide accurate financial aid information until information is released. Expected delivery is mid-March. Financial Aid packages will be delayed.
  • The Priority Deadline for all Walsh University main campus undergraduate students to submit 2024–2025 financial aid items has changed to April 1. Financial Aid Renewal information is available online.
  • The new FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, allows a minimum SAI of -1500, and implements a separate eligibility determination criterion for Federal Pell Grants.
  • For divorced or separated parents: The parent who provided the most financial support to the student will need to provide their information on the FAFSA. Previously, the parent who the student lived with the most provided their information.
  • The new FAFSA introduces the 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.

Prepare for the FAFSA

We encourage current and prospective students to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible.

First Steps to Completing the FAFSA and Applying for Financial Aid

  • 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. With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool. If you already have an FSA ID, there is no need to create a new one. Your existing FSA ID will continue to work.
  • Complete the 2024–2025 Walsh University Supplemental Application available online. This is an internal form Walsh uses to verify enrollment intentions, sport and activity involvement, outside financial contributions, and other factors that contribute to a student’s institutional aid eligibility. If you are not planning to pursue federal or state financial aid, this form has a space to mark that you are not filing a FAFSA.

Terms to know

  • Student Aid Index (SAI): calculated by the FAFSA data; will determine student aid eligibility. This replaces the EFC that was used in previous years
  • Cost of Attendance (COA): includes tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies, miscellaneous expenses, and transportation
  • Contributor: a parent, stepparent, student or spouse of the student who is providing information for the FAFSA.
  • Consent: required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax data directly to the FAFSA. If any contributor does not provide consent to share the tax data, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid
  • Direct Data Exchange (DDX): previously known as IRS Data Retrieval; this tool imports tax data directly from the IRS to the FAFSA
  • FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): A summary of the completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used previously


  • What semesters are covered by the 2024–2025 FAFSA?
    • Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025.

Last updated: February 1, 2024