FAFSA Top 10

FAFSA Simplification was one of the most popular topics at NASFAA this year. Here’s the news to know as financial aid teams head into 2024-2025.

By Rick Cox

The Top 10 things you might have missed from the FAFSA Simplification process:

  1. Changes to Cost of Attendance. This includes “room and board,” which becomes “food and housing.” “Tuition and fees” moves into a broader category defined as “books, course materials, supplies and equipment.”
  2. Beginning in 2024-2025, students do not have to be at least half-time to benefit from year-round Pell.
  3. There will be new Professional Judgment guidance and requirements. Among the new requirements: Colleges must now disclose that students may pursue an adjustment based on Special or Unusual Circumstances. Colleges also must now consider all such requests.
  4. The number in college will not be used in the Student Aid Index formula but will remain on the FAFSA as a question. Colleges can consider this for Professional Judgment purposes.
  5. The change in which parent is used on the FAFSA to whomever provided the most financial support, and the family size, will be based on the tax return.
  6. Colleges must begin reporting Federal Work-Study earnings in COD. This will be reported on a calendar basis and not by award year.
  7. There is an increase in the Income Protection Allowance (IPA).
  8. Changing to the new SAI places the emphasis on the tax return. If not on the tax return, the information will not matter. Cash support for students is no longer considered for the aid formula. Child support received is now an asset instead of being treated as income. It is no longer important to ask how a student is supporting themselves if they have low income.
  9. Negative SAIs will need to be considered when modifying or developing your FSEOG awarding policy.
  10. Consent will be required for Federal Tax Information from every contributor. If consent is not given, an ISIR will still populate. However, this cannot be used to award funding.

Rick Cox is Global’s Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance