There are major changes coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-25 aid year. Historically, the FAFSA has been available beginning October 1 each year. However, because of significant changes to the application and the rebuild of the FAFSA processing system, the 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until sometime in December 2023. Updates on an exact date will be posted here when announced. We will also email all current students, their families, and any applicants for admission when the FAFSA becomes available.
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 starting with the 2024-25 award year. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs. These changes are aimed at making it easier for students and their families to apply for financial aid with a more streamlined application process. You can expect the changes outlined below.
What is changing?
Change in date FAFSA becomes available
Historically, the FAFSA has been available beginning October 1 each year. However, because of significant changes to the application and the rebuild of the FAFSA processing system, the 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until sometime in December 2023. After the 2024-25 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.
Streamlined application process
The 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 number of questions on the FAFSA has decreased from over 100 to less than 50.
The parent responsible for submitting the FAFSA in cases of divorce or separation has changed
For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.
New terminology and information
The formula used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has changed. The EFC has been renamed the Student Aid Index (SAI) because it 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. Also, small businesses and family farms are now considered assets. Please note that Loyola University Maryland will continue to consider the number of family members in college when determining institutional aid.
The FAFSA is introducing the new 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.
- 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.
Expanding Pell Grant eligibility
The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.
What is not changing?
While the FAFSA is receiving an update and the aid eligibility calculation has been revised, there are several aid-related matters that will not change.
- Loyola will continue to consider the number of siblings enrolled in college for eligibility for institutional forms of aid for undergraduate students.
- The general types of aid available to Loyola students and federal student loan limits will not change.
- The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of institutional, 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 current assets on your 2024-25 application. Families who experience special or unusual financial circumstances should contact their financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid to discuss next steps.
- 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.
How to prepare for the 2024-25 FAFSA
While the 2024-25 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:
- 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 when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
- Mark your calendar for December 2023—we’ll update you on this page and by email once we know the official date that you can complete your 2024-25 FAFSA.
I heard the 2024-25 FAFSA will no longer consider the number of siblings in college. Will this reduce the amount of aid I’m able to receive?
While the FAFSA will ask about siblings enrolled in college, the analysis will not adjust for this. Therefore, this could impact the amount of federal aid you are eligible to receive. However, Loyola will continue to consider the number of siblings enrolled in college at the same time for eligibility for institutional forms of aid for undergraduate students.
Application Process for First-Year Applicants Application Procedures for Returning Students