Part II: A Reference for New Terminology

Important name and system changes are taking place as full implementation gets closer for the FAFSA Simplification and FUTURE Acts.

Here’s a guide to new names for financial aid terms that are changing with FAFSA Simplification. In some cases, a change will affect an entire financial aid system.

  • FTI Consent (Federal Tax Information) will be called FTI Approval
    A FAFSA applicant and contributors to the application must approve the automatic retrieval of Federal Tax Information once each FAFSA cycle, beginning in 2024-2025. The authorization to transfer income data from the IRS to the Department of Education will include disclosure of FTI to institutions and states for the awarding of student aid. The FAFSA can be submitted without an approval to transfer data, but Title IV eligibility won’t be calculated until the student and all contributors approve the transfer of FTI.
  • IRS DRT becomes DDX or FADDX (Future Act Direct Data Exchange)
    The FUTURE Act mandates the Federal Student Aid office use a data exchange tool known as Future Act Direct Data Exchange. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will be retired in 2024-2025 and replaced with FADDX. The direct transfer of income data from the IRS to the department is one of the biggest changes under FAFSA Simplification and means applicants will no longer need to enter their income information on the FAFSA.
  • Household Size becomes Family Size
    The FAFSA will refer to Household Size as Family Size in the new award year, a change that includes who may be counted in the household. Siblings or children of an independent student will only be counted in family size if they’re living at home. However, for a dependent student, siblings can count if they’re not in the home because of enrollment in college. This will also apply to the dependents of an independent student. Our blog, A Major Change for the FAFSA, provides details.
  • The Student Aid Report becomes the FAFSA Submission Summary
    The FAFSA Submission Summary will become the student’s summary of data input on the FAFSA.
  • The Central Processing System (CPS) becomes the FAFSA Processing System (FPS)
    CPS will be retired and replaced with FPS. The new system will no longer set assumptions on the ISIR, and rejects and highlights will be reviewed to determine any modifications required. In addition, all Comment Codes must be reviewed and revised to align with the new system.
  • FAA Access to CPS Online becomes FAFSA Partner Portal (FPP)
    FAA Access – FSA’s existing web tool and system used to access multiple administrative functions – will be integrated with FSA’s Partner Connect system. The new system lets financial aid teams enter corrections, view processed records, compare multiple transactions and provide identity verification results.
  • SAR C-Flag will be replaced by FPS C-Flag
    FPS C-Flag will become the new name for SAR C-Flag.
  • EFC (Expected Family Contribution) becomes SAI (Student Aid Index)
    The SAI formula will be used to determine eligibility and is considered a better representation of the resources a student and/or families can contribute toward education. Highlights include treating a negative SAI as 0 and reducing Pell to the Cost of Attendance if Pell exceeds COA.
  • Room and Board becomes Food and Housing
    Changes affecting Cost of Attendance include both language changes and changes to expenses. Under language changes, Room and Board are now known as Food and Housing.
  • Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) will be replaced by Other Financial Aid (OFA)
    OFA will replace EFA in the formula for determining a student’s need for financial aid. Colleges will use the formula COA – SAI – OFA = Need, or COA – OFA = Non-Need Eligibility. The new definition for OFA excludes certain foster care benefits and emergency financial assistance for unexpected expenses.
  • The Financial Aid Award Letter will become Financial Aid Notification
    It’s up to colleges to choose what they call this, but they should avoid calling it the Financial Aid Award Letter.
  • An EFC Adjustment has become Special Circumstances
    Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations (loss of a job, etc.) that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the SAI calculation.
  • Dependency Override will be called Unusual Circumstances
    Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration).
  • G5 becomes G6
    The department’s current website for initiating drawdown or return of federal funding is being upgraded to G6. The plan for an early August transition is on hold. The move from G5 to G6 will be incremental and will include changes to pre-award functionality and account login.

For more on changes in key terms, definitions and systems, please refer to FSA’s August electronic announcement here.

New terminology is replacing older, familiar terms under FAFSA Simplification. Photo by Unsplash.
New terminology is replacing older, familiar terms under FAFSA Simplification. Photo by Unsplash.