Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year.

Additional Resources:


You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA went live December 31, 2023.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025 terms.
  • The 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 be expanded.

Anticipated Changes and Highlights:

  • Streamlined Application Process: fewer questions, fewer requirements, and enhanced exchange of income with the IRS.
  • Invitations to parent(s) or spouse will be sent via email and they will be known as contributors.
  • Students and contributors will need FSA ID's. Create one now if you don't already have one. How To Video
  • Contributors will be required to provide consent to use required tax and financial data. Lack on consent will result in a rejected FAFSA.

Terminology Changes:

  • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent(s), and stepparent(s) for example. 
  • Consent: each contributor will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return. 
  • SAI: Student Index Aid (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC was used to calculate the amount a family could contribute to a student’s education. The SAI is now based on an actual index of the federal poverty level guidelines.
  • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS. 

FAFSA Form Changes

  • Student housing choice:
    • MSUN may assume living arrangements based on 2023-2024 information. If our assumption is incorrect, please complete the Student Data Formso we can update your Financial Aid Offer based on your actual living arrangements for 2024-2025.
  • The student’s interest in Federal Work-Study (FWS) employment:
    • MSUN will package work study on a first-come, first-serve basis. Early filing will ensure a better chance of a work study offer.
    • Please see the Financial Aid Office if you are interested in receiving Federal Work-Study and it is not on your initial Financial Aid Offer.
  • No benefit for having siblings in college:
    • Previously, the FAFSA divided the EFC proportionally based on the number of household members in college. The elimination of this "sibling discount" will be the biggest change in aid eligibility for some students. The SAI will not use the number in college as a factor in calculation of eligibility. MSUN students with siblings in college may see a change in their aid eligibility at MSUN as well as with the aid received by their sibling(s) at MSUN or elsewhere. The determination to no longer consider the number in college was made by Congress and can only be changed by Congress.
  • Family Farms and small businesses must be reported as assets:
    • When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.
  • Excluded income for the student, spouse, and parents. This includes other income items that have been reported under "Additional Financial Information" on the FAFSA and excluded from need analysis in prior years (such as taxable combat pay, or special combat pay and cooperative education program earnings). Child support received is still reported, but as assets rather than income.
  • Applicants will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange:
    • Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all contributors on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most, that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.
  • All “contributors” must provide financial information:
    • Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such and will need to log in using their own FSA ID to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA.
    • Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete, and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.
  • The parent responsible for submitting the FAFSA in cases of divorce or separation has changed.
    • For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.
We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available.