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Tips for Completing the 2024-25 FAFSA


Submitted on January 17, 2024

Tips for Completing the New 2024-25 FAFSA

The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is now available. Due to the passing of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the new form represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This includes the FAFSA form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures. Below is a helpful Q&A that highlights the major changes to the FAFSA, as well as tips on how to navigate the process. If you have questions, please email our financial planning and aid office at [email protected]. We are here to help!

What are the FAFSA Deadlines?

The federal deadline to submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form is June 30, 2025. For any student starting at Georgetown College in the fall of 2025, this is the form you will need to use. Any student who is starting in the fall of 2024 should fill out the 2024-25 FAFSA. You must fill out a new FAFSA before each new school year.

Who is considered a “contributor” on the FAFSA?

“Contributor” is a new term on the 2024–25 FAFSA form. It refers to anyone (you, your spouse, your biological or adoptive parent, or your parent’s spouse) who’s asked to provide their information, consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred automatically from the IRS into the FAFSA form (more on that later), and signature on your FAFSA form. Note: Unless they’ve legally adopted you, your grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, siblings, and aunts and uncles aren’t considered contributors—even if they helped provide for or raise you.

You’ll also answer questions about your personal circumstances to determine whether you’re a dependent or independent student. If you’re considered a dependent student, your parent will be identified as a contributor. And if your parent is married (and not separated) but didn’t file taxes jointly, their spouse will also be a contributor.

If you’re considered an independent student on the FAFSA form, your spouse will be identified as a contributor only if you’re currently married (and not separated) but didn’t file taxes jointly. Note: Even if you’re living with your parents, you may still be considered independent based on your answers to certain questions on the FAFSA form. No matter whether you’re a dependent or independent student, your contributors must participate on your FAFSA form to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.

Who provides consent and approval to be eligible for federal student aid?

Both you and your contributors must provide consent and approval to have the IRS transfer your federal tax information into the FAFSA form. Your contributors must provide consent and approval even if they don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN), didn’t file a tax return, or filed a tax return outside the U.S. If you or your contributors don’t provide consent and approval, you won’t be eligible for federal student aid.

Do I need a StudentAid.gov account to fill out a FAFSA?

Yes, you will need a StudentAid.gov account to access the new FAFSA. You can create an account at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch. Beginning with the 2024–25 FAFSA form, each of your contributors (if you have any) will be able to create a StudentAid.gov account even if they don’t have a social security number (SSN). As a student, you’ll be required to enter your SSN (unless you’re a citizen of the Freely Associated States) to create your StudentAid.gov account. After you and your contributors have created your accounts, you can each complete your sections of the FAFSA form on your own.

How is the FAFSA formula changing?

The formula used to determine your financial aid eligibility is changing. Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is an index number that’s calculated using the information that you and your contributors provide on the FAFSA form. Your SAI can range anywhere from –1500 to 999999. Note: this is NOT a dollar amount. The SAI replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024–25 award year. Once we know your SAI, we will use it to calculate how much and the types of financial aid you’re eligible to receive.

Will I qualify for Pell Grants?

Federal Pell Grant eligibility has expanded to more students starting this year, so you may qualify! Starting in the 2024–25 award year, an estimated 610,000 new students will be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. Although your SAI may contribute to the formula to determine your Pell Grant eligibility, it’s not the only determining factor. Other information, like family size and federal poverty guidelines, will also be used to determine whether you qualify for a Pell Grant. Even if you don’t qualify for the maximum Pell Grant award, you may still be eligible for a Pell Grant based on other information you provide on your FAFSA form.

How do I get a copy of my FAFSA submission?

The Student Aid Report is now the FAFSA Submission Summary. After your FAFSA form is submitted and processed, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access an online copy of your FAFSA Submission Summary. The FAFSA Submission Summary replaces the Student Aid Report for the 2024–25 award year.

The FAFSA Submission Summary has been specifically designed to highlight your eligibility for federal student aid. It will include the answers that you submitted on your FAFSA form (except for any federal tax information that was transferred directly from the IRS), your SAI, and an estimation of the amount of federal student aid that you may be eligible for. NOTE: Your FAFSA Submission Summary is not an aid offer. Your aid offer will come directly from Georgetown College if you are officially admitted.

If you have additional questions, please email our financial planning and aid office at [email protected]

SOURCE: StudentAid.gov, a Department of the U.S. Department of Education. 


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