The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and includes the first major redesign of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) system in more than 40 years. The goal of the redesign is to offer families a more seamless filing experience, as well as reducing errors, removing barriers and expanding student eligibility for federal aid.
The FAFSA form for students applying for financial aid for the 2024-2025 academic year is now available intermittently as part of a soft-launch phase. During the soft launch, the FAFSA form will be available for short periods of time while site performance and form functionality are being monitored. Expect pauses for site maintenance and technical updates as needed to provide you with a better experience. If you submit your form during the soft launch, your information will be saved, and you won’t need to resubmit your form or any related information. If the form is unavailable when you or your family members try to access it, please try again later.
The FAFSA is expected to be eligible for review by SUNY Broome in mid to late March.
A streamlined application process with fewer questions
The Direct Data Exchange (DDX) is replacing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer an individual’s Federal Tax Information (FTI) within the FAFSA
Consent will be required from all contributors on the FAFSA annually
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that includes how federal student aid eligibility is calculated
Divorced or separated parents – the primary or custodial parent (contributor) is the parent who provides the greater portion of the student’s financial support (rather than the parent with whom the student lived with most in the past 12 months)
What’s Not Changing
Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually if applying for federal financial aid
The FAFSA is the application that helps institutions determine financial aid eligibility for a student. By completing the FAFSA, the student may be eligible for various grants, loans or campus employment opportunities.
Reported income will still be “prior-prior” (example: the 2024-25 FAFSA will require 2022 income)
FAFSA Simplification Highlights
Updated Terminology & Information
Student Aid Index (SAI): Replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a formal evaluation of a student’s approximate financial resources to contribute toward their postsecondary education for a specific award year.
Contributor: Any individual required to provide consent and approval for federal tax information (FTI) along with their signature on the FAFSA® form, including the student; the student’s spouse; a biological or adoptive parent; or the parent’s spouse (stepparent). Contributors will be determined by a student’s dependency, marital, and tax filing status.
- Students will provide information for FAFSA to contact other contributors.
- Other contributors (if needed) fill FAFSA out separately and do not see student information.
- Students do not see information from other contributors.
- If married and filed jointly the spouse does not need to log in as a contributor.
- If living together/married and not filed jointly, the spouse will need to be a contributor.
FAFSA Submission Summary: Replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) as the student’s output document providing a summary of data input on the FAFSA form.
Family Size: The definition of family size has changed to align with number of individuals reported as dependents on applicant’s (if independent) or applicant’s parents’ (if dependent) U.S. tax return.
Number in College: The FAFSA will still ask for the number of family members in college, however this will not be a factor in determining aid eligibility.
The 2024-2025 FAFSA is now available for completion.
- Create an FSA ID for each contributor (student, student’s spouse (if applicable), student’s parent(s)).
- An FSA ID is an account and password that gives contributors access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as the electronic signature.
- Complete the FAFSAas soon as you are able.
Our Financial Aid Office is here to help! You can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 607-778-5028 or stop by our office in the Student Services Building Room 111.