Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Renewing The FAFSA
Last updated January 23, 2024
Are you a returning college student? If so, it's time to renew your FAFSA for the 2024-2025 academic year!
Read some common questions students have (and our answers) about renewing the FAFSA below.
Why does the FAFSA look different?
The 2024-2025 FAFSA- also known as the "Better FAFSA," is the first version of an overhauled, simplified FAFSA. The new FAFSA looks different, has significantly less questions, and is now role-based. That means that you and your contributors (if you are a dependent student) will each need a StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID) to complete your portion of the FAFSA. Learn how to complete the FAFSA here.
I submitted my FAFSA last year. Why do I need to renew it?
Renewing your FAFSA is the only way to determine your eligibility for financial aid each school year. Grants, scholarships, loans, work-study, and other forms of financial aid are only awarded to students who have already completed or renewed their FAFSA. If you don’t renew your FAFSA every year you're in college, you will likely lose out on different forms of financial aid that can significantly decrease the overall cost of college tuition and fees.
How often do I need to renew my FAFSA?
The FAFSA only applies to one school year, so you will need to renew it every year you’re in college to be eligible for financial aid. For example, when completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA, you will be applying for renewed financial aid for that school year.
How do I renew my FAFSA?
Follow the specific instructions to renew your FAFSA here. You and your contributors will need to log in with the same StudentAid.gov accounts you used when you initially submitted your FAFSA. This will bring up a lot of the same information you completed your FAFSA with the first time, such as your personal information (email, address, etc.), so you don't need to re-enter it. However, if any of that information has changed since initially completing your FAFSA, be sure to update it when renewing.
My household income/financial situation has changed since I first completed the FAFSA. What should I do?
The FAFSA now requires students and contributors to grant consent to pull official IRS information. Every year that you submit, you will receive a new FAFSA Submission Summary (formerly known as Student Aid Report) that will include your Student Aid Index (SAI), formerly known as Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your SAI is what colleges will use to determine your financial need. If the financial aid offer from your school after completing the FAFSA is not enough to help cover educational costs, you can submit a change in circumstances form. By submitting this form, you are asking your school’s financial aid office to take a closer look at your financial situation and adjust their aid offer accordingly (which will hopefully result in awarding you more money). While submitting a change in circumstances form doesn’t always guarantee that you will receive more financial aid, we recommend that you still do so. Because this process may take some time, we recommend submitting your forms as soon as possible.
What’s the deadline to renew?
While the federal deadline to renew the FAFSA is June 30th, annually, we recommend doing it ASAP, since many states and colleges award aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Many states also have their own FAFSA deadlines; learn yours here.
What other financial aid forms do I need to renew?
If you created a CSS profile during the previous school year, you will need to renew it as well. Unlike the FAFSA, which is always free, there is a $25 fee for completing the CSS Profile. The first report you send is included in that $25 fee, but any additional report will cost $16. Fee waivers are available to students whose adjusted gross family income is less than $100,000 annually. The CSS profile opens annually on October 1, but deadlines typically vary by college. Check in with your school's financial aid office to learn your deadline.
I renewed my FAFSA. What happens now?
If you renew your FAFSA during January 2024, it's important to know that FSA will not receive your FAFSA information until the end of the month. Immediately after you renew in January 2024, you will receive email confirmation that it was submitted successfully, but not your FAFSA Submission Summary.
Until you receive your FAFSA Submission Summary (likely sometime in February), you will also not be able to make any updates or corrections to your FAFSA. Keep this in mind when renewing your FAFSA to ensure you’re submitting the most accurate, most complete version of the form.
After January 2024, you should typically receive your FAFSA Submission Summary around one week after renewing (if your FAFSA has no errors). Your FAFSA Submission Summary will include your SAI. This is important to check, as it can change each year with changes to your financial situation.
If you do not see your FAFSA Submission Summary one week after renewing your FAFSA, your contributor(s) may not have completed their portion of the application, there may be an error on your FAFSA you need to fix, or you may have been selected for verification.
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Need some support as you renew your FAFSA? 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!