FAFSA® Simplification Act: On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA® Simplification Act — a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.”

FAFSA® Simplification Overview

FAFSA® Changes for 2024-2025

The 2024-2025 FAFSA® will be available December 2023. This is only temporary for 2024-2025. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA® will be available in October as usual.

The FAFSA® will feature fewer questions and fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange (DDX) from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

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.

Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA®.

Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA®.

Key Terms:

  • Account Username and Password (FSA ID): Username and password used to log in to all Federal Student Aid products and tools on StudentAid.gov.
  • 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).
  • FAFSA® Privacy Act Consent: Formal consent provided by an applicant and any applicable contributor(s) for a given FAFSA® cycle (e.g., December 2023 to September 2025 for the 2024-25 FAFSA® form) that meets the statutory requirements of collecting and using an individual’s personally identifiable information.
  • 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: Replaces the term “household size” on the FAFSA® form.
  • Federal Tax Information (FTI): The data and information related to federal tax paying. It includes a return or return information received directly from the IRS or obtained through an authorized secondary source such as the U.S. Department of Education.
  • 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.

The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA® will not 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® Application Form 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.
  • Complete the FAFSA® as soon as it opens in December.
  • Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to find out how much federal student aid you may be eligible for, starting with the 2024-25 award year when available.
    • This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for the 2024-25 award year, not the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the 2023-24 award year.
  • Opt into SMS message alerts with ERAU and with StudentAid.gov (Log In > Settings > Communication Preferences) to receive up-to-date notifications and learn about upcoming changes to the FAFSA®.


When you submit your completed 2024-25 FAFSA® form, you’ll get an email confirming that Federal Student Aid (StudentAid.gov) received your form with preliminary information related to your eligibility for federal student aid. This will include your estimated Student Aid Index (SAI) and estimated eligibility for Federal Pell Grants.

They will provide your FAFSA® eligibility information to your school(s) and state in the first half of March, so you will have ample time to fill out the form. Once your school(s) receive your FAFSA® information, they will provide you with personalized aid information in the coming weeks. Until your school(s) and state receive your form, they won’t be able to answer questions about your aid eligibility or status.

They will send you an email when your FAFSA® information has been sent to your selected schools and when you can access your FAFSA® Submission Summary on StudentAid.gov. The FAFSA® Submission Summary will provide your official SAI calculation and Federal Pell Grant eligibility. You can also check the status of your FAFSA® form on StudentAid.gov in the first half of March.

Have a Question?

Call 866-567-7202
Email Financial Aid with a Question
Chat Now
Available from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EST