7 Key Changes Coming to the 2024–25 FAFSA® Experience

FAFSA® TipsNews & Updates6 minutes

The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form will be available by Dec. 31, 2023—with some big changes for students and families. Read on to learn seven critical ways the experience is changing.


The 2024–25 FAFSA® form will launch in December 2023.

That’s right—the FAFSA form will launch by Dec. 31, 2023. The federal deadline to submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form will be June 30, 2025. Some states and colleges have their own deadlines for financial aid, so check for updates at StudentAid.gov/fafsa-deadlines.

Before you complete the FAFSA form, make sure you know which form you’ll need to fill out. You must submit the right form(s) to apply for federal student aid.

Attending college or career/trade school between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024Attending college or career/trade school between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025Attending college or career/trade school during both periodsAttending summer classes
Complete the 2023–24 FAFSA formComplete the 2024–25 FAFSA formComplete both the 2023–24 and 2024–25 FAFSA formsContact your school’s financial aid office to see which form you should complete


Anyone who provides information on your FAFSA® form will be considered a contributor.

“Contributor” is a new term on the 2024–25 FAFSA form. It refers to anyone (you, your spouse, your biological or adoptive parent, or your parent’s spouse) who’s asked to provide their information, consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred automatically from the IRS into the FAFSA form (more on that later), and signature on your FAFSA form.

Note: Unless they’ve legally adopted you, your grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, siblings, and aunts and uncles aren’t considered contributors—even if they helped provide for or raise you.

Being identified as a contributor on the FAFSA® form won’t make your family member responsible for paying for your education costs.

Wondering how you’ll know if you need to add contributors to your FAFSA form? Don’t worry—the online FAFSA form will tell you who needs to be a contributor based on your answers to certain questions.

You’ll also answer questions about your personal circumstances to determine whether you’re a dependent or independent student. If you’re considered a dependent student, your parent will be identified as a contributor. And if your parent is married (and not separated) but didn’t file taxes jointly, their spouse will also be a contributor. View the infographic below to see which parent will be a contributor when you fill out your FAFSA form.

Visit the link above for information on how to determine which parent will be a contributor on your FAFSA form.

If you’re considered an independent student on the FAFSA form, your spouse will be identified as a contributor only if you’re currently married (and not separated) but didn’t file taxes jointly.

Note: Even if you’re living with your parents, you may still be considered independent based on your answers to certain questions on the FAFSA form.

No matter whether you’re a dependent or independent student, your contributors must participate on your FAFSA form so we can determine your eligibility for federal student aid.


You must provide consent and approval to be eligible for federal student aid.

Both you and your contributors must provide consent and approval to have the IRS transfer your federal tax information into the FAFSA form. Your contributors must provide consent and approval even if they don’t have a Social Security number (SSN), didn’t file a tax return, or filed a tax return outside the U.S. If you or your contributors don’t provide consent and approval, you won’t be eligible for federal student aid.

Watch What Does It Mean To Provide Consent and Approval on the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form? to learn more.


You won’t be able to access the FAFSA® form without a StudentAid.gov account.

To start your online 2024–25 FAFSA form, you’ll need to log in to your StudentAid.gov account. If you don’t have one already, you and your contributors will each need to create your own StudentAid.gov accounts to access the online FAFSA form, provide consent and approval, sign, and submit the form.

Beginning with the 2024–25 FAFSA® form, each of your contributors (if you have any) will be able to create a StudentAid.gov account even if they don’t have an SSN.

As a student, you’ll be required to enter your SSN (unless you’re a citizen of the Freely Associated States) to create your StudentAid.gov account.

After you and your contributors have created your accounts, you can complete your sections of the FAFSA form on your own.

Create your StudentAid.gov account now to ensure you can access the FAFSA form as soon as it’s available.


The formula used to determine your financial aid eligibility is changing.

Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is an index number that’s calculated using the information that you and your contributors provide on the FAFSA form. Your SAI can range anywhere from –1500 to 999999. Note that it is not a dollar amount. The SAI replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024–25 award year.

Once your college, career school, or trade school knows your SAI, they will use it to calculate how much and what types of financial aid you’re eligible to receive.


You may qualify for additional Federal Pell Grant funds.

Good news: Federal Pell Grant eligibility has expanded to more students.

Starting in the 2024–25 award year, an estimated 610,000 new students will be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. An additional 1.5 million students will be eligible for a maximum Pell Grant award.

Although your SAI may contribute to the formula to determine your Pell Grant eligibility, it’s not the only determining factor. Other information, like family size and federal poverty guidelines, will also be used to determine whether you qualify for a Pell Grant.

The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is updated every year. For the 2023–24 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $7,395. The maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2024–25 award year will be announced in 2024.

Even if you don’t qualify for the maximum Pell Grant award, you may still be eligible for a Pell Grant based on other information you provide on your FAFSA form.


The Student Aid Report is now the FAFSA Submission Summary.

After your FAFSA form is submitted and processed, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access an online copy of your FAFSA Submission Summary. The FAFSA Submission Summary replaces the Student Aid Report for the2024–25 award year.

The FAFSA Submission Summary has been specifically designed to highlight your eligibility for federal student aid. It will include the answers that you submitted on your FAFSA form (except for any federal tax information that was transferred directly from the IRS), your SAI, and an estimation of the amount of federal student aid that you may be eligible for.

Your FAFSA Submission Summary is not an aid offer.

Aid offers will come directly from any schools you’ve listed on your FAFSA form and have been accepted to.

Want more information about the 2024–25 FAFSA form? Check out our “FAFSA® Frequently Asked Questions” YouTube playlist for answers to common questions about the new form.