In a Word: A Reference for New Terminology

Key name and system changes are taking place with FAFSA Simplification. Here are befores and afters for financial aid terminology.

A glossary of familiar terms follows if you’re wondering what the new name is for an old standard.

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) becomes the Student Aid Index (SAI)
    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.
  • The Central Processing System (CPS) will become the FAFSA Processing System (FPS)
    CPS will be retired and replaced with a new, modern processing system. Re-engineering of the system will allow FSA to make changes that support aid eligibility and the verification process.
  • G5 will become G6
    The department’s current website for initiating drawdown or return of federal funding is being upgraded to G6. The move will be incremental and includes changes to pre-award functionality and account login. The plan for an early August transition is on hold.
  • IRS DRT becomes DDX or FADDX (Future Act Direct Data Exchange)
    Income tax data, or Federal Tax Information, can transfer directly from the IRS to the Department of Education beginning in 2024-2025, and applicants will no longer need to enter income tax data on the FAFSA. Direct transfer of FTI is one of the FAFSA’s biggest changes under FAFSA Simplification.
  • 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.
  • An EFC Adjustment has become Special Circumstances
  • Dependency Override will be called Unusual Circumstances
  • The Financial Aid Award Letter will become Financial Aid Notification
    It’s up to a college to decide what to call this but calling it the Financial Aid Award Letter should be avoided.

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