The FAFSA Has Changed for 2024-25!

There’s a better FAFSA form for 2024-25. Here are some important things that you need to know.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid has been redesigned and streamlined for 2024-25, to make it simpler and easier to apply for financial aid.

With the new form, the federal government is also changing how it processes your application.

Click on the following links or scroll down to learn more.

Undocumented? Use the CADAA

If you’re undocumented, don't use the FAFSA. You should use the California Dream Act Application so you can be considered for Cal Grants and other aid for which you are eligible.


This Year's Timeline is Later

The new form was released in December 2023, in what’s called a “soft launch.” That means the federal Department of Education is checking for bugs or glitches as people start using the form.

  • On some days, the application may be offline for a brief period, in order to fix any problems. If you are looking for the form and it’s offline, you should check back once a day on the FAFSA website, until it becomes available again.
  • Don’t stress if you haven’t been able to complete the form yet. Because of the transition to the new form, the submission deadline for Cal Grants has been pushed back to April 2, 2024 – for this year only. (It will return to the usual March 2 deadline in 2025.)

Also because of the transition, it's possible that colleges may not receive your FAFSA information until later this spring. This means we may be posting your award later than in previous years, but we will do our best to communicate with you and to process your application as soon as possible.


You'll Need To Create an FSA ID Account

In order to use the form for 2024-25, you must sign up to create an FSA ID account, if you don’t already have one.

Other individuals who are considered "contributors" (see below) – such as a parent, parent’s spouse or a student’s spouse – may also need to have an FSA ID. 

There’s a new process for parents or spouses (or others) to get an FSA ID if they don’t have a Social Security number. Because there have been some glitches with the new FAFSA process, they can follow these steps instead: 


You Should Learn These New Terms

The 2024-25 form uses some new terms, including "Contributors" and "Student Aid Index."

What's a contributor?

“Contributors” refers to individuals who are required to allow their federal tax information to be transferred directly into the new form.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that contributors are required to pay for your college expenses. And there may be other individuals who will need to provide some financial information for the form.

  • Required contributors include you, the student, and may also include spouses, parents or step-parents, depending on your dependency status, tax filing status or marital status.
  • Contributors are required to provide their consent to have their federal tax information transferred directly from the IRS into the FAFSA form. To do this, contributors will need to provide their full name, date of birth, social security number and email address. They are also required to create their own FSA ID account and to sign the FAFSA.

What's the Student Aid Index?

The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the old Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

  • Starting with the 2024-25 award year, the government will be using the new SAI as a measurement of how much you or your family are expected to contribute to college costs.
  • There are some changes in the formula used to calculate this new index, including how your family size is determined.


More Information and FAQs

Financial Aid Fact Sheet for 2024

You’ll find more information at studentaid.gov and at csac.ca.gov/how-apply, as well as in the FAQs listed below.

You can also click to download a handy financial aid fact sheet from the California Student Aid Commission, which has been updated with information about the 2024-25 FAFSA and CADAA.

We'll post more updates on this webpage as needed.

  • What else is changing with the 2024-25 FAFSA?

  • What isn’t changing?

  • Do I still need to input financial information manually?

  • Will there also be changes in the California Dream Act Application (CADAA)?

Want More Videos?

You'll find several helpful videos on this webpage. You can also use these buttons to find additional videos about different aspects of the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

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