Completing your FAFSA is an integral part of gaining financial aid, and this year’s form features important changes due to the passing of the Future Act on December 27, 2020. This page outlines each new addition and change that you’ll need to understand before applying for aid for the 2024-2025 academic year.
The 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023, a major change from the usual October 1 opening. As a reminder, the 2024-25 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025 semesters.
The updated FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete. New terminology will be added to the FAFSA. Eligibility for federal financial aid will also be expanded.
What does this mean for the timing of financial aid at DigiPen? Here’s a quick timeline detailing important dates and timeframes to keep track of regarding the 2024-25 FAFSA changes.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and DigiPen Scholarships open for the 2024-25 academic year.
Financial Aid Award letters and scholarship decisions sent to new incoming DigiPen students on an ongoing basis.
Financial Aid Award letters sent to returning DigiPen students.
Continuing Student DigiPen Scholarship decisions sent to returning students.
How to Prepare for the FAFSA
While the 2024-25 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:
Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
An FSA ID gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
- Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are contributors on the FAFSA 2024-25?
Contributor is a new term introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA form. It refers to anyone asked to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form. This can include the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse (stepparent).
A contributor is not a grandparent, foster parents, legal guardian, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, even if they helped provide for or raise the student.
A contributor on the FAFSA form doesn’t mean they are financially responsible for the student’s education costs.
How are contributors determined?
The student’s or parent’s answers will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
What do contributors need to provide?
Contributors will be invited to complete their portion of the FAFSA form by entering their name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and email address. They must also provide personal and financial information in their own sections of the FAFSA form.
What if I am a contributor and don’t want to provide my information in my student’s FAFSA?
Being a contributor does not imply financial responsibility. However, if a required contributor refuses to provide their information, it will result in an incomplete FAFSA form, and the student will become ineligible for federal student aid.
What if my parents are divorced? Who is the contributor to my FAFSA?
The parent included in the FAFSA as a contributor must be the parent that provides the greater portion of the student’s financial support. If that primary parent is remarried, the income of that parent’s spouse (stepparent) will also be required.
Consent, Taxes and Financial Data
What is consent, and why do I have to provide it when completing the FAFSA 2024-25?
The Future Act requires that every contributor on the FAFSA provide consent annually to:
Have their federal tax information transferred directly into the FAFSA form via direct data exchange with the IRS.
Have their federal tax information used to determine the student’s eligibility for federal student aid.
Allow the U.S. Department of Education to share its federal tax information with postsecondary institutions and state higher education agencies for use in awarding and administering financial aid.
Even if students or contributors don’t have a Social Security Number, didn’t file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the U.S., they still need to provide consent to be eligible for federal financial aid.
What happens if a contributor does not want to provide consent on the FAFSA?
If a student, spouse, or parent doesn’t provide consent on the FAFSA, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and the student will not be eligible for any federal aid.
Will non-custodial parents be contributors if they have not claimed the child on their taxes?
Starting with the Simplified FAFSA, students will determine which parent to report based on which one provides the most financial support. The reported parents will provide consent to transfer their taxes data even if they do not claim the student on their taxes.
If a parent does not want to or refuses to create an FSA ID, is there an alternative for that parent to provide consent, such as mailing a wet signed consent page?
There is no longer a separate signature page, and there won’t be a consent signature option on paper. An alternative option for contributors to provide consent who do not want to or refuse to create an FSA ID is to submit a paper FAFSA form completed by all contributors and mailed to the Federal Student Aid. This method is not recommended due to complexity and increased processing time.
Student Aid Index (SAI)
What is the Student Aid Index (SAI)?
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting with the 2024-25 award year.
The SAI is a number used to determine eligibility for need-based aid. It is calculated using information the student (and contributors, if required) provides on the FAFSA form. A student’s SAI can be a negative number, down to -1500.