2024-2025 Financial Aid New Changes!
Changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year! The Student Financial Services Office 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.
Why is it changing?
Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act on December 27, 2020. 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 increase access to federal student aid.
What does this mean for you?
The 2024–2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) includes unprecedented changes to how students and families apply for federal student aid and how we determine eligibility, giving students a better and simpler experience with the FAFSA form.
2024-2025 FAFSA start date: Normally the FAFSA becomes available October 1st each year, but the 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available by December 31, 2023.
2024-2025 California Cal Grant Priority Deadline: The March 2nd priority deadline has been extended to April 2, 2024, due to the delayed application opening.
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.
- Benefits: There are a number of benefits of the FAFSA simplification act, including a more streamlined application process and a better user experience for the FAFSA, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and reduced barriers for students.
Simplified Format: The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won’t even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.
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's spouse for example) and consent (each contributor will need to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA).
|EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
|SAI (Student Aid Index)
|Student Aid Report
|FAFSA Submission Summary
|Student Personal Circumstances
|IRS Data Retrieval Tool
|Direct Data Exchange (DDX)
- 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 will be used when awarding need-based grants and scholarships.
- Contributors without Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be able to apply for a FSA ID. If a contributor does not have a SSN, they can still create a Federal student Aid ID (FSA ID) in order to participate in the application process. Federal Student Aid (FSA) is working on a solution for contributors without an SSN to confirm their identity via credit bureaus and other resources. Contributors will be able to create an account when the 2024-2025 FAFSA goes live.
Click on the link for additional information on New Terminology and Major Changes.
What can you do now to prepare?
- Mark your calendar for December 2023 – we’ll update here once we know the official date that you can complete your 2024-2025 FAFSA.
- Check back often for updates – this is the biggest update to the FAFSA in 40 years!
- Create a Federal Student Aid Account-- make sure each contributor creates their own account.
- Federal Student Aid: What is the FAFSA Simplification Act? | Federal Student Aid
- Federal Student Aid Estimator provides an estimate of how much federal aid a student may be eligible to receive.
- 2024-2025 FAFSA Overview Video: Open in YouTube
- What's Changed for the 2024-25 FAFSA Form?
- Create and Access Your Student Aid.gov Account; also know as your FSA ID.
- How to Get an FSAID for Individuals Without a Social Security Number
- Cómo obtener un FSA ID para personas sin un Número de Seguro Social (SSN)
- Why Do My Contributors and I Need Our Own Student Aid.gov accounts for the 2024-25 FAFSA Form?
- Who is a Contributor on the 2024-25 FAFSA form?
- Understand and Prepare FAFSA Form Contributors
- What Does It Mean To Provide Consent and Approval on the 2024-25FAFSA form?
- 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts
California Dream Act Application Changes
Updates to the financial aid application process for the 2024–2025 award year.
The California Student Aid Commission is making changes to the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to include some of the updates in the FAFSA Simplification Act. All students must complete either the FAFSA or CADAA to be considered for government student aid.
The Commission intends to release the updated CADAA on the same day as the new FAFSA. The application is normally available October 1st but will be available by December 31, 2023. The March 2nd priority deadline has been extended to April 2, 2024, due to the delayed application opening. Updates to both programs are expected to expand financial aid eligibility for many students.
We will continue to update this webpage as we receive more information from the California Student Aid Commission.
What is the Simplification Act?
This process is the first major redesign of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process in over 40 years. It represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid.
The process for the CADAA will include some of the changes from the new FAFSA, both of which will be implemented for the 2024–2025 award year. Read more about the FAFSA Simplification Act.
The California Dream Act Application allows students interested in attending eligible California colleges, universities and career education programs to apply for state financial aid.
Anticipated changes to the 2024–2025 CADAA include:
The incorporation of the Student Aid Index (SAI) in place of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- Enhancements per the recommendations of a California higher education work group focused on solutions that reduce challenges for undocumented students accessing financial aid.
- Inclusion of Race/Ethnicity/Gender questions: the questions will be optional
and will not impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. The data obtained will be
used for Commission research purposes only.
- AB 540 Affidavit inclusion: Following the progress of Assembly Bill 1540, the
Commission will embed the questions for the determination of non-resident
tuition exemption (commonly referred as AB 540 affidavit) within the CADAA
and provide a mechanism to allow institutions to collect a student’s answers to
the AB 540 affidavit. NOTE: Institutions of higher education will continue to
make final determinations of AB 540 eligibility.
- Parent Signature Process changes: The Commission is working to build the
parental signature into the original submission, which may eliminate the
separate PIN creation process.
Differences between CADAA and FAFSA changes:
- The CADAA will keep the same number of questions, FAFSA will have fewer questions.
- The CADAA will retain language about income from the student and parent(s); the new FAFSA has updated terminology, using contributors to describe a student’s parent(s) or spouse.
- The new CADAA will have similar income reporting requirements and questions; the new FAFSA requires the applicant and each contributor to individually consent to the direct data exchange process with the IRS.
Benefits to Students, Families, and Borrowers
Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college and experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid. The benefits of CADAA simplification include:
- An enhanced application process
- Expanded eligibility for California student aid