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FAFSA Simplification

What is FAFSA Simplification?

FAFSA Simplification represents big changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and how financial aid is determined for the 2024-25 aid year. The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed on December 27, 2020, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The FAFSA Simplification Act 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 FAFSA form, need analysis, new terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

Major Changes in 2024-25 That Will Impact You

FAFSA Launch Date
The 2024-25 FAFSA was delayed and became available December 31, 2023. Complete the application at 2024-25 FAFSA form
Learn more about the launch.

Pro Tips for the 2024-25 FAFSA Form
Tips from the U.S. Department of Education to help you successfully complete the 2024-25 FAFSA form.


2024-25 FAFSA FAQs Videos

View the U.S. Department of Education's playlist of short topical videos to get the answers you need to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA.

Important Steps and Information

contributor is a new term on the 2024-25 FAFSA. A contributor is anyone who is required to provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred directly from the IRS into the FAFSA form and provide a signature on the form. A contributor is:

  • You, the student, and, if applicable, contributors may also include,
  • Your spouse,
  • Your parent,
  • Your parent's spouse or partner

Watch this video to learn about contributors. Each contributor will need to create a StudentAid.gov account (see below) to enter their information and complete their section of the FAFSA.

If you have not done so already, you will need to create a StudentAid.gov account to apply for, receive and manage your federal student aid. This will create an FSA ID (username and password) that is used to electronically sign your FAFSA. Watch this video on creating a StudentAid.gov account. If you have an FSA ID from a prior year, you will continue to use it.

Contributors who do not have a social security number must also create a StudentAid.gov account. Follow the instructions in the link below. Some individuals are experiencing issues starting or accessing the 2024-25 FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education is aware of these issues and is working on resolutions.   

  • How to Submit the 2024-25 FAFSA Form if Your Contributor Doesn't Have an SSN web link and PDF.

Important U.S. Department of Education Notice April 30, 2024:

Applicants and contributors without a Social Security number (SSN) can immediately access the online FAFSA form and submit the form after creating a StudentAid.gov account. The Department is temporarily allowing individuals without an SSN to enter and complete the FAFSA form. Students and contributors must manually enter their tax information. Students without an SSN must verify their eligible noncitizen status through their school before they receive any federal funds. These changes streamline the process for students who have contributors without an SSN to complete their FAFSA form.

This temporary allowance for those individuals without an SSN, to enter and complete the FAFSA form, will only be available until the IRS data retrieval issues for those without an SSN are resolved. The Department is working on a resolution and will share an update as soon as possible. The Department will continue to work expeditiously to complete the manual validation process for those without an SSN. The Department is committed to ensuring that all students and families, regardless of their background can equitably access the FAFSA form.

You will need specific information on hand to complete the FAFSA such as demographic information, social security number, an email address, and 2022 federal tax information. See the list of information.

Consent and approval are needed to retrieve and disclose federal tax information from each participant on the 2024-25 FAFSA. With consent and approval, ED obtains your federal tax information automatically from the IRS to help complete the FAFSA form. If consent and approval are not provided by the student and all contributors on the FAFSA form, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid, including grants and loans. All participants must provide consent and approval even if they didn’t file a U.S. federal tax return or any tax return at all.

The U.S. Department of Education will issue emails to contributors when they must complete their sections of the FAFSA and/or provide consent to for the transfer of their tax information.  Be sure to open these official emails and follow the instructions.

An incomplete 2024-25 FAFSA will be deleted after 45 days of inactivity. A FAFSA cannot be considered submitted until all required contributors have completed, signed, and submitted their sections. 

After all sections of the online FAFSA form are completed and submitted, you will receive a confirmation email noting your submission date, your estimated Student Aid Index – SAI (formerly called the Expected Family Contribution) and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility. You will also receive a FAFSA Submission Summary (formerly called the Student Aid Report) after ED processes the FAFSA information.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is new to the 2024-25 FAFSA and replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) when calculating financial need. The SAI is a result of the information provided by the student and their contributors on the FAFSA. SAI is an eligibility index that college financial aid staff use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend their school. See more information about how aid is awarded

Starting in the 2024-25 academic year, the amount of Federal Pell Grant is determined using factors such as the Student Aid Index (SAI) adjusted gross income, tax filing status, and the U.S. annual poverty level guidelines for family size and state of residence. 

The amount of Federal Pell Grant a student can be eligible to receive falls into three categories with the maximum and minimum Federal Pell Grant awards for 2024-25 noted below. 

  1. Maximum Federal Pell Grant Eligibility
    * Maximum Federal Pell Grant award for 2024-25 is $7,395
    * Awarded when the Student Aid Index is -1500 to 0
  2. Calculated Scheduled Award (CSA)
    * CSA is the Maximum Federal Pell minus Student Aid Index (SAI)
  3. Minimum Federal Pell Grant Eligibility
    * Minimum Federal Pell Grant award for 2024-25 is $740

Federal Student Aid Estimator is a tool available for students to get an early estimate of how much federal student aid they may be eligible for in the 2024-25 award year. This will also help identify which parent to include on the FAFSA form. Reminder, this is an estimate and the amount of your federal student aid may be different when the FAFSA is completed. Learn more and complete the Federal Student Aid Estimator.

For 2024-25, the enrollment statuses used to award the Pell Grant will be replaced with a new term called “enrollment intensity.” Previously, Pell Grants were awarded based on full-time (12 or more hours), three-quarter-time (9-11 credit hours), half-time (6-8 credit hours) or less-than-half-time (1-5 credit hours) enrollment statuses.

Enrollment intensity is the percentage of full-time enrollment at which a student is enrolled, rounded to the nearest whole percent. 

Full-time enrollment is 12 or more credit hours and the student is enrolled in 7 credit hours. The enrollment intensity would be (7/12) x 100% = 58%. The student’s scheduled Pell Grant award is then multiplied by the student’s enrollment intensity percentage to determine the Annual Pell Grant Award

2024-25 Financial Aid Notifications
Due to U.S. Department of Education system issues and delays, colleges are working dilligently to provide 2024-25 financial aid financial aid packaging and award notifications to students. Currently, financial aid awards are estimated to be available to Harper College students in late May or early June. Harper will send additional updates as more information becomes available.

Stay Informed about 2024-25 FAFSA Changes and Receive Up-to-date Notifications and Information
To ensure you receive future updates, log in to your StudentAid.gov account and confirm ED has your current email address.

2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts
The U.S. Department of Education has a 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts webpage that lists open and resolved issues they have identified related to the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

We Are Here to Help!

Harper College offers FAFSA/Alternative Application Workshops, assistance in the One Stop and via an appointment



Last Updated: 6/6/24