Paying for your Post-Secondary Plans
Common App has partnered with Benefits Data Trust to introduce a new tool called Wyatt, which is a free FAFSA digital advisor. Wyatt allows you or your students to text questions about the FAFSA and receive personalized advice.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 academic year is now available periodically through a soft launch period.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE SOFT LAUNCH
Students may be unable to access the FAFSA due to periods of maintenance downtime throughout January. The form is expected to be fully available later in January and February. There is still plenty of time to submit the FAFSA.
Although students may be able to complete the form, FSA will not transmit their FAFSA to any institution until late January.
Upon submission, students will receive a confirmation email noting their submission date, estimated Student Aid Index (SAI), and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility.
Students will receive an email when their FAFSA Submission Summary is available to view online.
Learn more about the soft launch period here.
A new FAFSA is HERE!
The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress to streamline the financial aid process for students and families. Among other key changes, this legislation will reduce the total number of questions students see when filing the FAFSA, attempts to clarify the questions that will be asked, and will aim to increase Federal Pell Grant eligibility.
How can I prepare for the changes?
The new FAFSA form will use you and/or your family's 2022 taxes to determine your eligibility for federal student aid (2024-2025). Ensuring that this information is completed and accessible may assist you in the process.
What steps can I do now?
The 2024-2025 FAFSA won't be available until December, but you and all who will contribute information on the FAFSA can get a FSA ID. If you already have a FSA ID, you don't need a new one.
Getting this step done now will save you time later. Be sure to save your ID and password where you can access them when the FAFSA becomes available in December.
Can my parents get a FSA ID if they do not have a Social Security number?
All parents who need to contribute information to the FAFSA can get a FSA ID, even if they don't have a SSN. They will be asked several identifying questions by TransUnion, a credit agency that will be serving to confirm the identity of anyone without an SSN. These questions will be based on information they can find on a credit report (Ex: What is the make/model of the car with a loan you are currently paying?).
What are the benefits of the new FAFSA?
The benefits of FAFSA simplification include:
- A more streamlined application process
- Expanded eligibility for federal student aid
- Reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds)
- Better user experience for the FAFSA form
What major changes will FAFSA Simplification introduce?
Significant changes to the application process include changes to the FAFSA form, how students and families complete the application, and the eligibility calculation.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI)
- Students who can't get parental information can now fill out the form and get a calculated Student Aid Index (SAI)
- All students and parents will need to consent to have their information pulled in from the IRS.
- All students and parents, including those without a social security number, can fill out the form.
- Siblings in college will be listed but will no longer have an impact on the SAI
- Business income now needs to be reported.
What is the Student Aid Index or SAI?
- Replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
- Determines Federal Pell Grant eligibility
- Determines federal loan offers and work study funding
How will eligibility for federal student aid be expanded?
Eligibility for federal student aid will be expanded in the following ways:
- New methodology will be introduced to calculate and determine applicant eligibility. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI).
- The new need-analysis formula allows for a negative SAI calculation and implements separate eligibility criteria for Federal Pell Grants.
- Federal Pell Grant access will be expanded and linked to family size and federal poverty levels, which will allow more students and families from low-income backgrounds to qualify.
- Federal Pell Grant access will be restored to incarcerated students under specific rules and programs.
- Selective Service and drug conviction questions will be eliminated to reduce applicant barriers.
Can I estimate how much aid I will receive?
When is the FAFSA due?
- The new FAFSA will not be available to fill out until December 2023 for the 2024-25 school year.
- Michigan does not have a deadline. May 1, 2024 is the deadline to qualify for the Michigan Tuition Grant which is for students who are planning to attend a private college in Michigan.
- So don't worry. You can get it in on time
Will I need to consent for my IRS information to be used for FAFSA if I didn't file taxes?
- Yes. Everyone needs to consent regardless of filing or citizenship status
- If you didn't file taxes or you filed taxes in another country you still need to consent
- If your information is unavailable from the IRS, you will be asked to add it manually.
Other Sources of Funding and Tips
- College Scorecard
- Comparing Financial Aid Package
- Glossary of Terms - Paying for Post-Secondary Education
- Going Merry Scholarships
- MI Student Aid
- Sallie Mae - Paying for College Resource
- Sallie Mae - Scholarship Search
- Scholarship Link 23/24
- Tuition Estimation
- Types of Aid
- US Department of Education - Net Price Calculator
- Affordability and Scholarships searching