/ Financial Aid

2024–25 FAFSA Updates

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act expands eligibility for federal financial aid and simplifies the application process for students and their families. 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your application for financial aid at Hope and determines your eligibility for need-based grants, loans and work-study. The FAFSA has minor changes each year, but for 2024–25, the biggest changes in several decades are being implemented.

You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024–25 FAFSA is available now to complete.
  • All colleges listed on your submitted FAFSA will begin receiving your information in mid-March. Learn more about FAFSA processing and what to expect. 
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
  • New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.
Why is the FAFSA changing? 

The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Changes have been implemented in phases with the most significant changes effective with the 2024–25 aid year. The FAFSA Simplification Act creates a more streamlined application process, expands eligibility for federal aid programs, reduces barriers for certain students and offers a better user experience when completing the FAFSA form. 

How to prepare for the application changes
  • Determine which parent will need to complete the FAFSA.
    • New for 2024–25 — The parent who provides the greater portion of the student's financial support is used on the FAFSA even if the student lives with the other parent or the other parent has custody. As a reminder, a remarried parent must include their spouse’s (the student’s step-parent) income. 
  • Make sure each person that needs to complete the FAFSA has their own FSA ID.
    • New for 2024–25 — A parent without a Social Security Number will be able to obtain a FSA ID at the time they complete the FAFSA.
  • Make sure each person that needs to complete the FAFSA has completed their 2022 income tax return (if required).
New terminology for the 2024–25 FAFSA
  • Student Aid Index (SAI): The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formally known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula implements a separate eligibility determination for Federal Pell Grants.
  • Contributor: The FAFSA is introducing the 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. All contributors are required to have an FSA ID. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.
  • Consent: All contributors are required to provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred from the IRS, have their tax data used to determine the student's eligibility for aid, and allow the U.S. Department of Education to share their tax information with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV financial aid.