Release Date: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Important changes for FAFSA in the 2024-25 academic year

Closeup image of FAFSA forms.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step for every student who is applying for financial aid. This year, significant changes are being made to simplify the FAFSA, and these changes will impact all HFC students applying for financial aid starting with the Fall 2024 semester.

These changes are part of the FAFSA Simplification Act and are intended to streamline the FAFSA experience for students and families.

What are some of the changes?

  • The new streamlined FAFSA will have fewer questions.
  • A new Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • The IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) makes entering tax information easier. All contributors (students, spouses, parents) will be consent to transfer their tax information or non-filing status (the 2024-2025 FAFSA uses 2022 tax information).
  • Any person required to enter information on the FAFSA (student, parent, spouse) is considered a “contributor.” Each contributor must have their own Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID).
  • Students eligible for Pell Grant will receive funds based on “Enrollment Intensity” instead of “Enrollment Level.”
    Prior to 2024-25: Students received 75% of Full-Time Pell Award if they enrolled in 9-11 credits, 50% of Full-Time Pell Award if they enrolled in 6-8 credits, and 25% of Full-Time Pell Award if they enrolled less than 6 credits.
    Beginning 2024-25: Students will receive 92% of Full-Time Pell Award if they enroll in 11 credits, 83% of Full-Time Pell Award if they enroll in 10 credits, 75% of Full-Time Pell award if they enroll in 9 credits, and prorated awards continuing down to 1 credit.

Timeline for the 2024-25 FAFSA

  • December 23, 2023: The 2024-25 FAFSA is available for students and families to submit.
  • Mid-March 2024: The Department of Education will begin sending FAFSA data to schools.
  • Mid-March 2024: Students may make any needed updates and changes to their submitted FAFSA.
  • April 2024: HFC will begin loading FAFSA data and notifying students of any missing documents.

Federal Student Aid ID

  • Any person who is a “contributor” on the FAFSA must have their own FSA ID. For 2024-25, a spouse or a step-parent may need to be a contributor on your FAFSA.
  • If the contributor does not already have an FSA ID, they must create a FSA ID.
  • HFC encourages all contributors to create their FSA ID at least three days prior to filling out the FAFSA. This will allow the FSA ID to be a verified account, making the FAFSA process easier.

Who is considered a “contributor” on the FAFSA?

For 2024-25, any person required to enter information on the FAFSA is considered a “contributor.” The answers to the questions on the FAFSA will determine who will be required to be a contributor. Required contributors may include a parent, a step-parent, or a student’s spouse.

  • To be a contributor, the student or parent will “invite” someone as a contributor to complete their portion of the FAFSA.
  • To invite someone as a contributor, the person’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address will be needed. If the contributor (other than the student) does not have an SSN, they can still be invited to complete their portion of the FAFSA using alternate information.
  • Once invited, the contributor will receive an email informing them they have been identified as a contributor.

For questions or more information, contact Financial Aid at 313-845-9600 or

Related content: Start your 2024-25 FAFSA form informational video