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The New 2024-25 FAFSA: What to know

With the rising cost of tuition, financial aid is more important to many students and their families than ever before. If you’re planning to attend college and want to receive any form of financial aid for the 2024-25 school year, you’ll need to fill out the redesigned 2024-25 FAFSA form. Filing the FAFSA is completely free and the only way to determine your eligibility for different types of financial aid at the federal, state, and institutional level. B2A strongly recommends all college-bound students and current college students complete this year’s form to maximize your financial aid potential. FAFSA is not only used for tuition but also for future opportunities like consideration for aid for study abroad, so it is important you have a completed FAFSA on file each year.


What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is an online application students complete to determine their eligibility for federal and state student aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study funds, and student loans.


If you’re a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information on the FAFSA form. If you’re an independent student, you’ll report your own information.


If you’re unsure about your dependency status, click here.


Changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA Form

Good news for students -- the FAFSA form is being simplified and intended to become more user-friendly!

1.  Updates to the form’s student aid calculation will expand eligibility for federal student aid

2.  Streamlined user experience to make the process less stressful and time consuming—you should be able to complete the form in under an hour and will answer fewer questions overall (46 maximum instead of 108)

3.  Introduction of contributors

a.  Contributors are those who contribute information to your FAFSA form. Most often, this will include you and your parents (biological, adoptive, and/or stepparents)

b.  You and your contributors will each need your own account (this may mean both parents need a separate account)*

*If your parents are married, both of your parents’ information must be included on the FAFSA. However, if your parents filed taxes jointly, only one parent is required as a contributor and will report information for both parents

4.  Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX): federal tax information will now be transferred directly from the IRS onto the form—this requires the consent and approval of all contributors, even if your parents don’t have a Social Security Number, didn’t file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the US

5.  When you complete the FAFSA, you can now send your information to up to 20 schools. Your chosen schools will then use this information to prepare your individual student aid offer


When do you fill out the FAFSA?

In recent years, the FAFSA form was made available on October 1. However, due to the significant changes made to the 2024-25 form, its release has been delayed. Federal Student Aid has announced that the FAFSA will be open by December 31st, 2023.


When is the FAFSA due?

While we’ve included information about the different deadlines for the FAFSA below, you should aim to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after its release in December. This will ensure you receive the maximum amount of financial aid possible.

  • Colleges have their own FAFSA deadlines. Find the FAFSA deadline for your schools by looking at their websites. For example, the FAFSA application is due to Rice University by February 1st while A&M’s Financial Aid State Priority deadline is March 15th*

  • Each state has its own FAFSA deadline. Here is a complete list of deadlines by state

  • The federal deadline is June 30, 2025


What will you need to complete the FAFSA?

To complete the updated FAFSA form, you’ll need the names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and email addresses of all contributors. During the application process, all contributors will also be required to provide their signature, consent, and approval to have their federal tax information transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA form.


In rare cases, you may need to enter your information manually. To prepare for this and ensure timely and accurate submission of your FAFSA form, gather:

  • Tax returns

  • Current balances of cash, savings, and checking accounts

  • Net worth of investments

  • Information on any businesses and farms

  • Child support documents


What can you do now?

1.  Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to receive an estimate of your federal student aid

2.  Create your account and have each contributor create their own account as well

3.  Follow Federal Student Aid for up-to-date announcements and resources, including an alert for when the 2024-25 FAFSA form is live:

a.  Twitter

d.  YouTube (Informational videos)

e.  YouTube (Educational Webinars)

4.  Research and apply for other scholarships


If you have any questions about the college admissions process, contact our offices to schedule a 1:1 meeting with a B2A counselor. We’d love to help!

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