In December 2020, Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act. This act will offer a major redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal financial aid. Due to the implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the application will be delayed this year. Usually, the FAFSA is available to complete on Oct. 1; the 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available starting Dec. 31, 2023. This is only temporary. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will return to its usual availability. The U.S. Department of Education also recently released a new Federal Student Aid estimator based on the new Student Aid Index (SAI) which will also provide an estimate of Pell Grant eligibility under the new needs analysis system.
This page features a roundup of proposed changes beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year, frequently asked questions, resources and timelines to assist you. Bookmark this page and studentaid.gov for updates.
- What is Changing
- Students and families will find the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, easier to complete with fewer questions.
- Everyone who enters their information on the FAFSA will be required to create a FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID), even if they do not have a Social Security Number. All FSA IDs must be set up before starting the FAFSA.
- Every student and parent must have an FSA ID. If parents filed their taxes separately, each parent will need their own FSA ID to enter information and sign the FAFSA.
- Everyone who enters their information on the FAFSA must give the U.S. Department of Education consent to access their federal income tax information from the IRS, even if they did not file a tax return.
- Family size will come from the number of exemptions reported on the federal tax return used to complete the FAFSA.
- The result of completing the FAFSA and entering income and asset information has long been known as the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. It will now be called the Student Aid Index, or SAI.
- The number of household dependents attending college will no longer affect the income/asset calculation.
- Families may now be required to show the value of their small business and/or farm on the FAFSA.
- Males between 18-25 years of age will no longer be required to be registered with Selective Service to receive federal financial aid.
- Residents of Pennsylvania must have met PA State Grant eligibility requirements and must complete the FAFSA by May 1 each year to be considered for the PA State Grant. See pheaa.org for more information.
- What is Not Changing
- The FAFSA still must be filled out annually for federal aid consideration. It is available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
- Questions introduced in 2023-24 about the applicant's sex, race, and ethnicity remain only for statistical purposes. They have no effect on federal student aid eligibility.
- Dependency status questions to determine if your parents must provide their information remain the same.
- FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information. Families that had significant reduction in income due to extenuating circumstances can still contact the Office of Student Financial Services at email@example.com to talk about options.
- Students with unusual circumstances or students who may not be able to provide parental information can still request special circumstances review and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and support.
- Federal Education Loans requirements remain the same.
- Federal Aid Rights & Responsibilities didn't change.
- Academic Requirements for Federal Aid are required to maintain eligibility.
- Helpful Links and Presentations
- FAFSA deadline by state
- Financial aid programs available to out-of-state students through state education agencies
- FAFSA roadmap
- Federal Student Aid estimator based on the new Student Aid Index (SAI)
- Wyatt, a digital FAFSA advisor, is free to use and available 24/7
- Financial Aid 101 webinar
- 2024-25 Contributor FAFSA Prep webinar
- Presentation for Dependent Students and Parents
- Presentation for Independent Students (Adult Education and Graduate)
- Helpful Articles
- Financial Aid Timeline
The key to financing your education is to plan early and keep your options open. The more you know about how financial aid works, the better prepared you will be to pay for college programs. The following timeline will help prospective undergraduate families. If there are any questions, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 610-796-8201 or email@example.com. Documents may be faxed to 610-796-8336.
August to October
- Apply to Alvernia University via our online portal or The Common Application (be sure to list Alvernia as one of your schools).
- Schedule an individual visit to campus or join us for one of many Admissions Visit Events.
- Take the SAT or ACT.
- All contributors to the FAFSA should sign up for an FSA ID. FSA ID’s are linked to your Social Security number and may take from 1-3 days to validate. It’s best to have your FSA ID validated before filling out the FAFSA.
October to May
- Complete the FAFSA online. For the 2024-25 academic year, the FAFSA will be available starting Dec. 31, 2023; for the 2025-26 academic year and going forward, the FAFSA should be available on Oct. 1st. To do this you will refer to your prior-prior year’s Federal Tax Return. Be sure to write down your personal FSA ID for future logins to your account.
- PA State Residents: Be sure to complete your FAFSA by May 1st to be considered for the PA State Grant. Residents of states other than PA: Please check your state’s FAFSA filing deadline and if they consider reciprocal grants.
- Apply for scholarships. Confirmed students may use their Alvernia logins to use the Scholarship Universe search tool.
- Confirm your Alvernia University enrollment by sending your confirmation form and deposit to the Admissions Office.
June to July
- Updated FAFSA Terminology
Previous Terminology New Terminology EFC (Expected Family Contribution) SAI (Student Aid Index) FSA ID Studentaid.gov Account Parent(s); Parent Spouse; Applicant Spouse Contributors IDR (Income Data Retrieval) & FAFSA Signature FTI (Federal Tax Information) and Consent Room & Board Housing & Food Student Aid Report (SAR) FAFSA Submission Summary