FAFSA Simplification – Are You Ready?

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the upcoming 2024-2025 aid year! The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) will update this page as additional information is made available so that we can continue to educate students, families, and our campus community on the new processes.

What can you do now?

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available; go to www.studentaid.gov/fafsa to get started. There may be pauses for site maintenance and technical updates as needed.
  • If you haven’t already, collect or create your FSA ID. New to 2024-2025, contributors who do not have a Social Security Number will be able to establish an electronic FSA ID.
  • Determine if or which parent is considered a Contributor for the FAFSA.
  • Collect 2022 federal tax information for the student and Contributor(s), including net business and/or farm values.

What does this mean for you?

  • Applicants will have ample time to fill out the 2024-2025 FAFSA and should not rush to complete the form immediately. Visit www.StudentAid.gov/announcements-events/fafsa-support for current information. 
  • Students who submit the FAFSA by our priority deadline of April 15, 2024 will be given equal consideration for need-based institutional aid and should continue to review www.studentaid.gov and complete the form as it becomes available to them.
  • The Department of Education has advised that they do not expect to send FAFSA information to schools until mid-March at the earliest. We will not be able to confirm receipt of your FAFSA until then.
  • Students needing to make corrections to their FAFSA can make those changes once the Department of Education processes their FAFSA; this is also anticipated to occur no earlier than mid-March.
  • OSFA anticipates starting to create Financial Aid Notifications for newly admitted students beginning in mid-April at the earliest, and beginning in mid-May for continuing/returning students.

Why is it changing?

“FAFSA® Simplification Act: On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.”

What’s Changing?

  • 2024-2025 FAFSA completion date
    • Normally the FAFSA becomes available October 1st each year, but the 2024-2025 FAFSA was made available through a soft launch beginning December 30, 2023.
    • The 2024-2025 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, an option for students who qualify under the Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act, is available now on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website, www.isac.org/AlternativeApp.
  • The term “EFC” (expected family contribution) is changing
    • With the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI) – this is a new need analysis formula that we will use when awarding need-based grants and scholarships.
  • Streamlined application
    • You’ll notice fewer questions when completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA and an easier way to transfer tax information directly from the IRS.
  • New terminology
    • You’ll notice a few new terms like contributor (anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA, a parent or student spouse for example) and consent (each contributor will need to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA).


Last updated: (03/20/2024)