By Siobahn Arbogast
The definition of a contributor per the Department of Education is any individual required to provide consent and approval for Federal Tax Information (FTI), along with their signature on the FAFSA form. This will include the student; the student’s spouse; a biological or adoptive parent; or the parent’s spouse (stepparent).
Beginning with the 2024-2025 award year, when a student completes their FAFSA, they may be required to invite other individuals to create an FSA ID and provide consent for the Department of Education to pull their tax information. For example, a dependent student will need to invite their parent as a contributor to provide consent for their FTI and sign the FAFSA. However, if that parent is married and did not complete their 2022 taxes in a married, filing jointly status with their current spouse, the parent’s current spouse will also be a contributor, as they will also need to provide consent for their FTI.
This will be similar for independent students, as well. If the student is currently married to the same spouse that they filed jointly with in 2022, their spouse will not be a contributor. Otherwise, they would have to invite their spouse to provide consent and sign the FAFSA.
Siobahn Arbogast is Global’s Director of Title IV Accounting