Financial Aid

2024-25 FAFSA Changes

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the upcoming 2024-2025 aid year! 

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available now!

What is changing?

The application process will be streamlined creating a better user experience when completing the FAFSA.  They have expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and lowered barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds).

Some changes include, but are not limited to:

They have reduced the maximum number of questions from 108 to under 50! Most students won’t see all the questions since the application will be streamlined.

The 2024-25 FAFSA will now include the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States.  Previously the application was only available in English and Spanish.

With previous FAFSAs, applicants had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons 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. There will be very few instances in which 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.

A contributor is a new term for the 2024-2025 FAFSA.  It refers to someone who is asked to provide information on an applicant’s FAFSA including:

  • The student
  • The student’s spouse (if applicable)
  • A biological or adoptive parent
  • The spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA – the stepparent

To invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA, the student will need their contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), and email address. The contributors will also need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as a contributor by the applicant and will need to log in using their own FSA ID (if they don't already have one) to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA.

All contributors are required to have an FSA ID.  They will need to provide consent to have their Federal Tax Information transferred from the IRS to be used by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to determine a student’s eligibility for federal student aid. Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked. The consent is necessary, even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country.

Contributors are not necessarily financially responsible for the student's education costs, but the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be considered incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

When completing the FAFSA, there is a built-in wizard that will assist you in determining who you should add as a contributor. Below is some general information.

Dependent students:

  • If your parents filed their U.S. income tax return as Married Filing Jointly, only one parent is needed to complete the FAFSA.
  • If a student’s parents filed their U.S. income tax return separately, both parents will be considered contributors and therefore need separate FSA IDs, and both must  provide consent.

Independent students:

  • If married and filed their U.S. income tax return separately, their spouse is a contributor and must have an FSA ID and must provide consent for the student to be eligible for federal student aid.

If unmarried, only the student’s information is needed.

With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the dependent student. In the past, financial information was needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months.

The term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) was replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This term more accurately describes the number used to determine federal student aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

In the past, the FAFSA calculated the number of members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate Hofstra students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility. The Office of Financial Aid will be contacting you once you have completed the FAFSA to assist with this change.

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.

You can now list up to 20 colleges.  Previously it was capped at 10.  However, no school will be able to see the other schools you listed.

What isn't changing?

  • The general types of aid available to Hofstra students and federal student loan limits will not change.
  • The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid each academic year.
    • Eligibility for the Hofstra University Assistance grant still requires a completed FAFSA.
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
  • The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you'll report 2022 income and your current assets on your 2024-25 application. Families with significant reductions in income should contact Student Financial Services to inquire about a Re-evaluation.

When should I submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

New students who plan to begin classes in the fall of 2024 should complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available in December. Returning students should complete the FAFSA by March 15th.