Highlights for FAFSA Simplification

In 2024-2025, there will be no substantial changes to verification, some data will start to pre-populate and Unusual Circumstances PJs will carry forward.

FAFSA Simplification highlights from the 2023 NASFAA conference in student financial aid include Pell maximums and minimums,
Photo by Unsplash.

By Rick Cox

Popular topics this year at NASFAA’s in-person conference included FAFSA Simplification news and reminders. Here are some of the important items to know:

  • Homelessness and Unusual Circumstances Professional Judgments will carry forward beginning in 2024-2025. For 2023-2024, financial aid administrators will have to set the flag, but do not have to collect new documentation or discuss it with the student to confirm those situations still exist.
  • Income earned from work will only come from the IRS from Form 1040.
  • Non-tax filers will get an automatic -1500 Student Aid Index.
  • A negative SAI is not used for any FSA aid purposes – it will be treated as 0.
  • Pell will begin using enrollment intensity instead of enrollment status. The calculation is rounded to the nearest whole percent.
  • Pell calculation will be the maximum minus SAI, then adjusted for enrollment intensity.
  • Minimum Pell calculation will only be performed if the SAI is greater than the maximum scheduled Pell award.
  • For Professional Judgments, reducing the income earned from work will not help much. Reducing Adjusted Gross Income is what will make a difference.
  • There will not be any substantial changes to verification for 2024-2025. The Department of Education intends to use the same groups, same verification items and the same or similar documentation requirements.
  • All contributors for the FAFSA will have their own FSA ID to complete their portion of the application (parent, spouse, etc.). Once the student completes their portion, they will send an invite to whomever else may need to provide data.
  • People without a Social Security Number who have a work visa will be able to create an FSA ID with their Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • Certain data will pre-populate beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA. For instance, if a parent has two children in college, the data from the first child’s FAFSA will automatically populate into the second child’s FAFSA. This would also hold true for a parent now going to school themselves.
  • A Parent Wizard consisting of four questions will assist students in identifying which parent will need to be invited to complete the parent portion of the FAFSA.

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