The FAFSA has undergone significant changes for the 2024-2025 aid year due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act.  Due to these changes, the Department of Education moved the release date the 2024-2025 FAFSA from October 1 to a "soft launch" beginning December 30, 2023.  In future academic years, the FAFSA will resume being fully released by October 1.   

The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available at fafsa.gov.  The Department of Education may occasionally pause access to the 2024-2025 FAFSA for maintenance. 

The UNT priority deadline to submit the FAFSA (or TASFA) has been moved from January 15 to April 15, 2024 for the 2024-2025 academic year.  Financial aid awarding for the 2024-2025 academic year is anticipated to begin Spring 2024.  

The Department of Education announced on January 30, 2024 that they will start sending student FAFSA data to schools beginning mid-March 2024.  This represents a 6 week delay from their previous timeline.  Although the sending of FAFSA information to schools has been delayed, we recommend completing the FAFSA as soon as possible. 

The following are some things you can do to help ensure a successful FAFSA submission:
If you do not already have an FSA ID, create one on the Federal Student Aid website:
  • Go to the FSA Create an Account website to create your FSA ID, preferably at least three days before filling out the FAFSA.
    • Assist your contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
  • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
Have the following information with you when completing the FAFSA:
  • If you do not know your Social Security Number (SSN), make sure you have it available when completing the FAFSA.
  • 2022 Tax Returns
    • Starting with the 2024–2025 FAFSA, you will be able to provide consent and approval to have most of your financial information imported directly from the IRS, but you should keep your tax return handy for additional questions.
  • Records of child support received
  • Current balances of cash, savings, and checking accounts
  • Net worth of investments, businesses, and farm
  • UNT's FAFSA school code, 003594
Have the following contributor (i.e., parent) information with you when completing the FAFSA:
  • First and Last Name as it appears on Social Security Card
    • If they have a suffix in their name (e.g. Jr, or III), do not include.
    • If they have a StudentAid.gov account, make sure the personal information you enter exactly matches the information they provided when creating their account.
  • Contributor's Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Contributor's Date of Birth
  • Email address for each contributor
Try to complete the entire FAFSA at one time, from start to finish:
  • It may take anywhere from 10 minutes to about an hour to complete.
  • Students should start the FAFSA and complete their section first (before contributors) to save time and prevent errors.
  • Please see the Department of Education's Tips for Completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA for additional information.

Once you submit your 2024–2025 FAFSA, the Department of Education will send you an email confirming that they received your FAFSA as well as future updates regarding your FAFSA status.   To ensure you receive future updates from the Department of Education, you may log in to your StudentAid.gov account and confirm they have your current email address.

For students and families who have started the 2024-2025 FAFSA process but have been unable to complete the process due to an issue with the FAFSA form, the Department of Education has created the following page to track the status of FAFSA issues and provide guidance:

What changes can I expect for the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

  • The FAFSA has fewer questions and requirements.
  • New terminology has been added to the FAFSA.
  • The FAFSA process will retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS to the U.S. Department of Education instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formally known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, better reflects the FAFSA results, and implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants.
  • The FAFSA has introduced the new term “contributor”, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs.
  • Once the soft launch period has completed, the FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.

To read more about the FAFSA Simplification Act , please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

What did not change?

These federal aid requirements, rights, and responsibilities have not changed or had minor updates:

  • The FAFSA remains required annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens. 
  • Dependency status questions to determine if your parents must provide their information remain the same.
  • FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information (e.g., for the 2024-2025 FAFSA you will use 2022 tax information). Families that had a significant reduction in income due to extenuating circumstances can still request special circumstances review.
  • Federal Education Loan requirements remain the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contributors

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, i.e., the student, the student's spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent's spouse (stepparent).

How are Contributors determined?

The student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.

What do Contributors need to provide?

These 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 sections of the FAFSA form.

What are the steps Contributors must follow?

  • Contributor receives an email informing them that they have been identified as a contributor.
  • Contributor creates a StudentAid.gov account if they do not already have one.
  • Contributor logs in to the account using their FSA ID account username and password.
  • Contributor reviews information about completing their section of the FAFSA form.
  • Contributor provides the required information on the student's FAFSA form.

What if I am a Contributor and do not want to provide my information in my student's FAFSA?

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?

Students that live with a single/divorced/widowed parent and receive the most support from that parent, will report only one parent on the FAFSA.

The parent included in the FAFSA as a contributor must be the parent who 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.

Why does the FAFSA 2024-25 require consent from students and contributors?

According to the Future Act, all students and contributors must provide consent to the following:

  • 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; and
  • 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.
  • Important: Even if students or contributors do not have a Social Security Number, did not file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the U.S., they still need to provide consent.

What if I don't want to provide consent as a student or a required contributor?

  • If a student or required contributor doesn't provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred into the FAFSA form, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid—even if they manually enter tax information into the FAFSA form.
  • Information about how federal tax information will be used and the consequences of not providing consent will be included on the FAFSA form.
  • Legal parents must provide consent to transfer federal tax information, even if one of the parents did not file or had no income. If parents fail to provide consent, the student will not be eligible to receive federal student aid.
FSA ID

What is FSA ID, and who needs it?

All students and contributors must create a StudentAid.gov account to complete the FAFSA form online.

Students and contributors will use their FSA ID account username and password to log in to their accounts. If you or your contributor already have an FSA ID, you will use your existing FSA ID.

Even if a parent or spouse contributor does not have a Social Security Number, they can still get an FSA ID using their ITIN to fill out their portion of the student's FAFSA form online.

Do parents and students need to wait until FAFSA 2024-25 opens in December to create an FSA ID?

No. The FSA ID process is not changing. It is even better that parents and students can create the FSA ID and have it ready anytime before the FAFSA application starts. If you or your contributor already have an FSA ID, you will use your existing FSA ID.

How do I or other contributors create an FSA ID?

To create an FSA ID, you will need your Social Security Number (SSN). Other information required is full name and date of birth. You will also need to create a memorable username and password and complete challenge questions and answers to retrieve your account information if you forget it. You'll be required to provide your email address or mobile phone number when you make your FSA ID. Providing a mobile phone number and/or email address that you have access to will make it easier to log in to ED online systems and allow you to verify your FSA ID before using it on the FAFSA and additional account recovery options. Please see the following U.S. Department of Education webpage regarding creating an FSA ID:  Create Account | Federal Student Aid.

Do parents without social security numbers also need to have an FSA ID?

Yes. Starting 2024-25, parents and/or spouses who are not U.S. Citizens or Eligible Noncitizens can use their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to create an FSA ID. They will be able to report their income and tax information on the FAFSA and use their FSA ID account to electronically sign the FAFSA.

What if my parents are not U.S. Citizens and do not have a Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

Your parents' citizenship status does not affect your eligibility for federal aid. They cannot create an FSA ID, but you can complete the FAFSA on paper and ask for their signatures. For FAFSA purposes, you must provide your parents' income, no matter where they reside.

My parent remarried. Is the parent's spouse required to get an FSA ID as well?

If the parent you indicate on the FAFSA is the parent who remarried, it will depend on how they filed taxes. If they filed jointly, only one parent needs an FSA ID. If they filed separately, both parents would need their own FSA ID.

Will parents and students need to create a new FSA ID if they have had an FSA ID in the past?

No. You can retrieve your existing FSA ID if you forgot your username and password. Please see the following U.S. Department of Education website regarding assistance with accessing an existing FSA ID account:  I need help accessing my StudentAid.gov account | Federal Student Aid.

When you create an FSA ID, is it ready to use right away or is there a wait time?

This can vary. It is possible to create an FSA IDand it will be ready to use once you verify it. It is also possible that after completing the FSA ID creation steps (including verifying it), you will be instructed by the online FSA ID portal to wait 24-48 hours to use your FSA ID.

We recommend creating your FSA ID a few days before starting the FAFSA form. FSA IDs made on the day of FAFSA completion might work but will not have full functionality yet, like using the Direct Data Exchange (FADDX) to transfer tax information.

Why do I have to set up two-step verification for my StudentAid.gov account?

Two-step verification, a form of multi-factor authentication (MFA), helps protect your StudentAid.gov account with additional protection from fraud.

Does each contributor need a unique phone number or email for multi-factor authentication?

Yes! For example, a student and parent cannot use the same phone number for MFA.

Do both parents need to create an FSA ID or just one like before?

This depends on the family's situation. For example, if a student has married parents filing taxes separately, both parents will need to make an FSA ID.

What is the impact if the student and parent already have an FSA ID?

None. Just ensure they are verified and ready to use when the FAFSA 2024-25 opens in December 2023.

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 an original signed (i.e. “wet signature”) consent page? 

Starting 2024-25, a separate signature page will no longer exist. There are two alternative options for contributors to provide consent who do not want to or refuse to create an FSA ID:

  • The first example would be the student applying using the paper FAFSA and obtaining wet signatures from all contributors, including the parents, who also affirm their consent.
  • The other option is for the student to complete their section and self-report information for the parent section on the FAFSA form. When the student submits their FAFSA form without the parent's signature, it will be placed in rejected status by the FAFSA Processing System (FPS). The parent can then provide their signature and consent on a paper copy of the FAFSA Submission Summary. This method is not recommended, if avoidable, due to the complexity and resulting increased processing time.
Consent, Taxes & 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 to share their taxes information in the application so that the IRS can share this information with Federal Student Aid (FSA). All parties whose Federal Tax Information (FTI) is included on a student’s FAFSA form must consent annually.

The consent will be required when a student submits a FAFSA, chooses Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) when starting loan repayment, or submits the Total and Permanent Disability discharge (TPD) within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for totally and permanently disabled students.

The consent is necessary not only for the U.S. Department of Education to request federal tax information from the IRS but also to use that FTI in the federal student aid application process, as well as do other things such as redisclose that information to certain eligible entities, such as higher education institutions.

What happens if I, as a student, or a spouse or parent, do not want to provide consent on the FAFSA?

If a student, spouse, or parent does not provide consent on the FAFSA, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and the student will not be eligible for financial aid.

What if I had a low income and was not required to file taxes?

According to the IRS tax year 2022, these are the thresholds by filing status. If an independent student (and spouse, if married), or a parent of a dependent student, were not required to file a federal income tax return for 2022, then the student will automatically receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) equal to –1500. They still need to provide consent when submitting the FAFSA so the IRS can confirm to Federal Student Aid (FSA) that the student, parents, and spouse did not file taxes.

Will students still be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

No. Starting FAFSA 2024-25, the DRT will no longer exist. After the student, spouse, and/or parent provides consent to the Direct Data Exchange (FADDX) via the FAFSA completion process, the Federal Tax Information (FTI) will be linked to the application contributor. Federal Student Aid (FSA) will now directly transfer Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS into the FAFSA form as long as the user has provided FSA with consent to do so.

All users identified as required contributors on a particular FAFSA form will be prompted to provide consent for the IRS to use their Federal Tax Information (FTI). This consent is required to retrieve FTI from the IRS to calculate the student’s aid eligibility. If any required contributor to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI), which replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will not be calculated.

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(s) to report based on which provides the most financial support. This determination will not be impacted by if the parent(s) reported the student on their taxes. The reported parent(s) will provide consent to transfer their tax data even if they do not claim the student on their taxes.

If parents who are remarried provide more support to the child than a biological parent, does the stepparent have to provide their tax information?

Yes. If the parent providing more financial support is remarried, the stepparent’s tax information is required.

What if my parent or stepparent does not want to provide their tax information for my FAFSA?

UNT Financial Aid Advisors can offer to talk directly with the parent or stepparent to explain why that information is needed and answer any questions, which sometimes puts them at ease about how their information will be used. However, our staff cannot provide tax advice.

How do I report small business or farm value as assets on the FAFSA?

Independent students or parents are the best sources for this estimate; they can also consult their accountant or other financial professional if they have access to one, to estimate the amounts to report.

My parent is self-employed – do they still need to say they own a business?

Being self-employed does end up showing business income on tax returns. But it depends on the type of work whether or not they will have to report any assets associated with their business.

I – and/or my parents or spouse – amended our taxes. Will my Federal Tax Information (FTI) be transferred, or do I have to provide a 1040X later to the school? 

Yes. Starting 2024-25, when the student, spouse, parent, and/or stepparent provide consent, the IRS’s Federal Tax Information (FTI) will include the information from an amended tax return.

Can I self-report my income on FAFSA? 

After you provide consent on the FAFSA, if the IRS cannot transfer your Federal Tax Information (FTI) to your FAFSA application, the application will allow you to self-report it. Self-reporting your tax information on the FAFSA does not override the requirement for each required contributor to provide consent on the FAFSA form. They will need to both 1) provide consent and 2) have their tax information submitted, either directly from the IRS or self-reported manually, on the FAFSA form.

If a parent of a dependent student or an independent student is a non-filer and earned no wages for the applicable year, do they have to provide consent?

Any individual who is a contributor to the FAFSA application must provide consent. This includes parentsand independent students, regardless of their tax filing status. Generally, the parents of independent students are not contributors and would, therefore, not need to provide consent.

What happens if a contributor provides consent but does not sign the FAFSA form? 

Starting 2024-25, FAFSAall FAFSAs submitted online must be completed online, including all required signatures. This means if a signature is missing, the applicable parent or the contributor must obtain an FSA ID to complete their section and sign the FAFSA.

Starting 2024-25, parents without a Social Security Number may create an FSA ID for use in completing and signing the FAFSA. Please see the following U.S. Department of Education webpage regarding creating an FSA ID: Create Account | Federal Student Aid.

There is no longer an option to print and submit a signature page to complete an online FAFSA and financial aid administrators will not be able to submit FAFSA signature forms on students’ behalf.

Students and parents will be required to have an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA application, including consent and signature, online. If they choose to mail a paper FAFSA, all contributors (student and parents) will need to provide consent on the paper FAFSA, provide original signatures (i.e. wet signatures), and mail the paper FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education address as indicated on the paper application. This method is not recommended due to its complexity and resulting increased processing time.

In what situations will there be a match with the IRS, but the IRS would not provide information?

Identity theft or fraud are the most likely reasons for the IRS not providing tax information for the applicant or the contributor. If the contributor has been flagged by the IRS, possibly due to identity theft or a breach of some sort to their information, then the IRS will notify the FAFSA processors via an electronic code indicating they are unable to provide the data. The FAFSA processors will notify you if this occurs.

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 an original signature (i.e. wet signature) on a consent page? 

There is no longer a separate signature page, and there will not be a consent signature option on paper. There are two alternative options for contributors to provide consent who will not or cannot create an FSA ID. One option is to submit a paper FAFSA form completed by all contributors and mailed to Federal Student Aid. This method is not recommended due to its complexity and resulting increased processing time.

Student Aid Index (SAI) & Federal Pell Grant

What is the Student Aid Index (SAI)?

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI brings a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

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. The SAI will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024-25 award year. A student’s SAI can be a negative number down to –1500.

The following formula is used to help calculate your financial aid.

Need = Cost of Attendance (COA) – Student Aid Index (SAI) – Other Financial Assistance (OFA)

What is the main difference between the SAI (starting FAFSA 2024-25) and EFC (used until FAFSA 2023-24)?

The Student Aid Index (SAI) represents a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

For example:

  • Child support received will now count as an asset instead of income.
  • Family farms and small businesses will now count as assets.
  • The number of family members in college is no longer considered in the needs analysis formula, but it is still a required question on the FAFSA form.

Additional information on the SAI formulas can be found in the 2024-25 DRAFT Pell Eligibility and SAI Guide.

How is Federal Pell Grant eligibility determined?

Students may qualify for a maximum Federal Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income, poverty guidelines, and tax filing status. Students qualifying for a maximum Federal Pell Grant will have a Student Aid Index (SAI) between –1500 and 0.

Students who do not qualify for a maximum Federal Pell Grant may still be eligible if their calculated SAI is less than the maximum Federal Pell Grant award for the award year. The student’s Federal Pell Grant offer will be equal to the maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year minus their SAI.

Students whose SAI is greater than the maximum Federal Pell Grant award for the award year may still be eligible for a “minimum” Federal Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income, and poverty guidelines.

What if I had a low income and was not required to file taxes?

According to the IRS tax year 2022, these are the thresholds by filing status. If parents of a dependent student or an independent student (and spouse, if married) were not required to file a federal income tax return for 2022, the student will automatically receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) equal to –1500.

Why are Assets different on the FAFSA 2024-25?

For the 2024-25 award year, some financial information previously considered income will be considered as assets. Also, some information not requested previously, such as the family’s small business, will no longer be excluded from asset reporting.

If students get a negative SAI, will they get a higher Federal Pell Grant?

Students with a negative or 0 SAI will be eligible for the same (maximum) amount of Federal Pell Grant. The difference is that the negative -1500 SAI indicates the student has a higher need than the student with 0 SAI, which can be used for the priority awarding of other grants with limited funding, such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

If the family size is manually adjusted, will the SAI only be calculated based on the size drawn from the taxes?

It will be based on the family size that the family entered, if different from the taxes. In this situation, students may have to provide additional information if selected for verification.

Professional Judgment & Appeals

What constitutes Unusual Circumstances on the FAFSA 2024-25?

  • Unusual circumstances are when a student is unable to contact a parent or where contact with the parent poses a risk to the student.
  • Starting in the 2024-25 award year, applicants who indicate on their FAFSA form that they have unusual circumstances will be granted provisional independent status.
  • Examples of unusual circumstances include human trafficking, legally granted refugee or asylum status, parental abandonment or estrangement, and student or parental incarceration.

What you need to know:

  • Students with unusual circumstances will be granted provisional independent status and can complete the FAFSA form without providing parental information.
  • Students with this provisional independent student status will receive an estimate of their federal student aid eligibility.
  • A financial aid administrator will make the final determination of a student’s unusual circumstances based on the documentation and information that the student submits to the school.
  • If a school approves a student’s unusual circumstances, their independent student status will remain as long as the student stays at the same school and their circumstances do not change.
  • All unusual circumstances must be documented.

How can I be considered an Independent for the FAFSA 2024-25?

For the 2024-25 award year, an independent student is one of the following:

  • born before Jan. 1, 2001
  • married (and not separated)
  • a graduate or professional student
  • a veteran
  • a member of the armed forces
  • an orphan
  • a ward of the court
  • someone with legal dependents other than a spouse
  • an emancipated minor
  • someone who is unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless