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FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act is the U.S. Department of Education’s overhaul of the federal student aid process. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), need analysis, and many other policies and procedures are affected by this policy change.

Many changes have already gone into effect and more will continue in preparation for the 2024-2025 FAFSA. See below for some common questions and helpful resources as you navigate the new policies. Please note that information is subject to change if we receive new information from the Department of Education.

Looking for information about the 2023-2024 FAFSA? Head to our Preparing for the FAFSA and Completing the FAFSA webpages.

The benefits of FAFSA Simplification include:

  • A more streamlined application process.
  • Expanded eligibility for federal student aid.
  • Reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds).
  • Better user experience.

Significant changes to the FAFSA process include changes to the form itself, the way students and families will provide tax data, and the calculation used to determine aid eligibility.

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • All students and other contributors must consent to have their information transferred from the IRS.
  • All students and other contributors, including those without a Social Security number, can fill out the form.
  • The net worth of a family business or farm, excluding the value of the primary residence, will now be reported with assets.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is a number, calculated based on information provided on the FAFSA, that the financial aid office (the WVU Hub) uses to determine how much federal student aid the student may receive. The EFC served a similar purpose in previous years, but unlike the EFC, the SAI will remove certain components of a student’s circumstances from consideration, and will also allow for a lower minimum dollar figure to give financial aid administrators more insight when reviewing students with particularly challenging circumstances.

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will use 2022 tax information from you and your contributors to determine your eligibility for federal and some state aid. Be sure to have this information complete and accessible before you begin the FAFSA process.

Additionally, you and your contributors will each need an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA. You can create an FSA ID at any time, and if you already have one from a previous FAFSA, you must use that same one.

For additional information, visit our Preparing for the FAFSA webpage.

A contributor is anyone — the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, or a parent’s spouse (such as a stepparent)— who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA. If the student’s parents are divorced, separated, or not married and not living together, the parent who provided more than 50% of financial support for the student in the past 12 months is considered the contributor. The Department of Education will be releasing a tool to help students determine who should be a contributor on their FAFSA.

Contributors should create an FSA ID as soon as possible to prepare for the December FAFSA launch.

All contributors must consent to an IRS information transfer regardless of whether they filed 2022 taxes in the United States. If consent is not provided by all contributors, the FAFSA will be invalid. If your information is not available for the IRS to transfer, you will be able to add it manually.

Federal student aid eligibility changes include:

  • Applicant eligibility will be determined by a new methodology. The EFC will be replaced with the SAI.
  • The new need analysis formula allows for a lower SAI calculation to give financial aid administrators more insight when reviewing students with particularly challenging circumstances.
  • Federal Pell Grant access will be expanded which should allow more students and families from low-income backgrounds to qualify.
  • Selective Service and drug conviction questions will be eliminated to reduce applicant barriers.

The Department of Education is expected to release the 2024-2025 FAFSA in December 2023.

Follow the WVU Hub on Instagram, X, and Facebook and look for announcements from us for more information as it becomes available.

No. The priority submission deadline for submitting the FAFSA is March 1, 2024.

For West Virginia residents, the deadline to apply for the Promise Scholarship is still March 1, 2024, and the WV Higher Education Grant deadline remains April 15, 2024.

First-time freshmen may begin receiving scholarship only offers by December 2023.

Due to the delayed release of the 2024-2025 FAFSA and changes to the financial aid process by the Department of Education, we do not have an estimated time for when full financial aid offers will begin. We cannot begin reviewing federal and state financial aid eligibility until the Department of Education makes the FAFSA available and all new processes and policies have been implemented and tested.

Related Resources

Additional information from Federal Student Aid is also available in the video playlist below.

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