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2024-2025 Better FAFSA Updates

Last updated February 27, 2024

Working on the 2024-2025 FAFSA? We’ll update this page frequently to help you stay up to date on what’s happening with the Better FAFSA. Have any questions about the FAFSA or financial aid? Text #FAFSA to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

Searching for more FAFSA resources? Check out our free Better FAFSA Student & Family Engagement Toolkit!

A woman wearing glasses, headphones, and a beige sweater sits on her bed and writes on a notebook that's propped on her laptop - 2024-2025 Better FAFSA Updates

Sources: NCAN and FSA 

Newest Updates - 2/21/24

Workaround for contributors without SSNs

Yesterday, FSA announced that online access for contributors without an SSN will be fixed by mid-March. Until then, they released a new workaround for students in this situation. This workaround should only be used if:

  • A student has a submission date to meet critical state, institutional, or scholarship deadlines, AND
  • They have required contributors who do not have an SSN. 

If you do not have a pressing deadline to submit your FAFSA, wait to submit until mid-March, when FSA has fixed online access issues for contributors without SSNs. 

Find full instructions for the nine-step workaround process here. Keep in mind that taking this route will result in an incomplete FAFSA that you will need to make corrections to once the corrections feature is live. This workaround is a temporary solution to allow students to meet critical deadlines.

Paper FAFSAs

Many students sent in paper FAFSAs to work around the StudentAid.gov account creation issue. Paper FAFSA submissions are being discouraged, as they will not be processed until all online FAFSAs are. This can delay your ability to make any necessary corrections to your FAFSA and delay when you receive financial aid award letters from colleges. If you already submitted a paper FAFSA, do not fill out the form online. 

Processing paper applications will include identity verification, so keep an eye out for any follow-up communications or a request to make corrections to your form once you receive your FAFSA Submission Summary. 

For more updates, head to FSA’s FAFSA Issue Alerts page.

Updates - 2/15/24

Contributors (parents) without SSNs

Parents without SSNs are still unable to create StudentAid.gov accounts (FSA IDs) to access the FAFSA. Do NOT use an ITIN number or any other inaccurate information to make an account. Some students and contributors have been able to get around this by manually filling out the attestation form. However, you MUST have a case number to submit this. Some students and families have been able to reach a service representative over email or chat to request a case number. Find FSA’s contact information here.

Making corrections to a FAFSA

Students and contributors who have submitted their application and need to make corrections (such as adding a missing signature or adding/removing a college) will not be able to do so until mid-March after they receive their FAFSA Submission Summary. 

Financial aid award letters

FAFSA information will be sent to colleges starting in March. Colleges will need time to process information and create aid packages. Students are expected to start receiving award letters mid-April. 

College Decision Day

The delay in students receiving offer letters will likely impact their timeline to decide where they will attend. Some colleges (such as the UC system in California) are beginning to make commitment deadline extensions to accommodate this delay. Be on the lookout for any communications from your colleges regarding their deadlines. 

Paper FAFSAs

Paper FAFSAs will be processed after digital applications. If you submitted a paper application, expect a delay in it being processed. 

Deadline concerns

If your inability to access the FAFSA is causing you to potentially not meet deadlines at a college or for a scholarship, reach out to let them know your situation. 

For more updates, head to FSA’s FAFSA Issue Alerts page.

Updates - 2/1/24

On January 30, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was changing its Student Aid Index (SAI) formula, which will provide an additional $1.8 billion in aid for students nationwide. Additionally, it announced that colleges and universities will not receive a student’s FAFSA data until “the first half of March.” This delay in receiving a student’s FAFSA data guarantees a delay in students receiving their financial aid award letters from colleges. According to NCAN, students can expect to receive their award letters in early to mid-April. While the traditional deadline to commit to colleges and universities is May 1, some may push it back this year to accommodate the delays that the FAFSA has brought. Be sure to check in frequently with your college(s) to learn if any deadlines have been adjusted. 

What to Know About The 2024-2025 FAFSA 

What is The FAFSA? Why Does it Matter?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a financial aid application that can help you receive multiple different types of aid to pay for college. Completing the FAFSA is completely free. It must be renewed each year a student is in college. 

Completing the FAFSA is significant because eligibility to receive most forms of financial aid for college, such as scholarships, grants, and loans, is determined only once a student has completed the FAFSA. 

Completing the FAFSA is non-binding, meaning you don’t have to accept any forms of aid offered to you through it. The FAFSA only opens up more opportunities to receive financial aid for college. If you’re an incoming or current college student, we strongly recommend you complete and renew the FAFSA each year.

How Do I Complete The FAFSA? 

Read our step-by-step guide to completing the FAFSA here.

How Do I Make a StudentAid.gov Account (FSA ID)? 

Read our step-by-step guide for making a StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID) here. If you’re renewing the FAFSA, you will use the same StudentAid.gov account you used to initially complete it.

All of your contributors to your FAFSA (your parents) will need to create their own StudentAid.gov accounts to complete their portion of the FAFSA. We strongly recommend creating your StudentAid.gov account 1-3 days before sitting down to complete the FAFSA, so that your accounts will be verified and you will not need to enter your personal information into the application manually. 

How is The 2024-2025 FAFSA Different From Previous Versions? 

The 2024-2025 FAFSA is intended to be a more efficient and streamlined version compared to previous iterations of the FAFSA. The form is now role-based, which means both students and their contributor(s) will need StudentAid.gov accounts to access their portion of the FAFSA. The amount of questions have been significantly reduced, making the process a lot faster for students and families. Students and contributor(s) must also consent for IRS tax information to be pulled in order to be eligible aid. 

Whose Income Should I Report on The FAFSA?

Click here for a helpful flowchart about whose income you should report on your FAFSA.

Dependent students:

Are your parents married to each other?

  • If yes, both parents will report income.
  • If they filed taxes jointly, only one parent will need to create a StudentAid.gov account and report financial information.

If your parents are NOT married, do they live together?

  • If yes, both parents will report income. 
  • If they did not file taxes jointly, both parents will need to create a StudentAid.gov account and report financial information.

If your parents are not married and do NOT live together, which parent provided more financial support in the last year?

  • The parent who provided more financial support will report their income. 
  • If your parent is remarried, you will also need to include the income of your stepparent. 
  • If your parents are separated and they both provided equal financial support, report the income of the parent who earns more annually. 

How Do I Make a Correction to My FAFSA?

Once your application has been processed, you can log into your StudentAid.gov account to make any corrections. Visit FSA’s corrections page to learn more.

How Much Financial Aid Will I Receive? 

It’s important to know that how much financial aid you will receive depends on a variety of factors, such as your contributors’ income, significant changes to your family’s financial situation, or any assets your family owns. There is no one-size-fits-all estimate to how much aid a student will receive. The amount of financial aid you can expect to receive each year in college will vary.

What Happens After I Submit My FAFSA? 

You can check the status of your FAFSA at the beginning of March. Just log into your StudentAid.gov account and find your FAFSA Submission Summary in the “My Activity” section of your account dashboard. Be sure to double-check that the information on your FAFSA Submission Summary is accurate and correct any information that needs to be updated. 

Read more about what happens after completing the FAFSA here.

What’s The Deadline to Submit The FAFSA? 

The federal deadline to submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA is June 30, 2025. However, many states and colleges will have their own FAFSA deadlines to consider students for state-based aid. Learn your state’s FAFSA deadline here.

My FAFSA Was Selected for Verification. What Should I Do? 

There are many reasons a student’s FAFSA might get selected for verification, so if it happens to you, don’t panic! FSA and your college(s) will provide instructions on how to submit supplemental documentation if you’ve been selected for verification. Be sure to follow their instructions and any relevant deadlines so that your FAFSA can be processed and you can be offered aid for the school year. Read more about what to do if your FAFSA is selected for verification here.

Have any questions about the FAFSA or financial aid? Text #FAFSA to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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