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Please note: The 2021 federal taxes are required to complete the 2023-24 FAFSA. If you need assistance while completing the application click on the following link for frequently asked questions: https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out?_ga=2.237112512.1307410283.1633613112-2099440622.1631045925


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Financial Aid Handbook
FAQs Paying for College

2024-2025 FAFSA Updates

Significant changes are coming to the 2024-2025 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is good news! These changes are an effort to make applying for aid easier. The new 2024-2025 FAFSA will simplified, reduced to 36 questions from 108, and allow for easier importing of financial data and tax records. Because of this, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will be delayed from the usual October 1 release date to sometime in December 2023. A more precise FAFSA availability date will be updated here once it is known.

PSC's Financial Aid department is here to help. Please keep an eye out for more information about the timing for the new FAFSA. If you have any questions, please reach out to financial-aid@prairiestate.edu.

  • Simplification: The maximum number of questions will be reduced from 108 to 46 for most students. Depending on their circumstances, some students will need to answer even fewer questions due to the dynamic skip logic built into the application. Additionally, providing income and tax information will be expedited under the process addressed in the next bullet.
  • Income and Tax Data: Previously, income and tax information was provided by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer data from the IRS to the FAFSA or by entering this information manually. Beginning with 2024-2025, all persons listing tax information on the FAFSA will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) to share income and tax information or confirm non-filing status.
  • FAFSA Contibutors: All those reporting income and tax data on the FAFSA will need to have an FSA ID if they don't have one already. FAFSA contributors include the student, student spouse (if the student is married), parent, and other parent (if the parent reported on the FAFSA is married). If married individuals filed their taxes separately, both spouses will need to obtain an FSA ID.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI): The FAFSA previously calculated an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Now the FAFSA will produce the Student Aid Index (SAI), which is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The SAI, unlike the EFC, can be negative with the minimum SAI being -1500.
  • Divorced or Separated Parent Information on the FAFSA: In prior years if the student’s parents were divorced or separated, the student was instructed to include on the FAFSA the parental data of the parent with whom they lived the most in the previous 12 months. Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the student will need to include the parental data of the parent who provided the most financial support in the previous 12 months. If this parent has remarried, both the parent and stepparent’s information is required. If both biological parents provide equal support, the student is then instructed to include the parental data of the parent who earned more.
  • Number of Students in College No Longer Factored: The FAFSA previously prorated the EFC based on the number of household members that were in college. The 2024-2025 FAFSA will still ask how many household members are in college, however your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. Consequently, current students with siblings in college most likely will see a change in their need-based aid eligibility under the 2024-2025 FAFSA.
  • Inclusion of family farms and small businesses: In past years, the value of a family farm or a small business with fewer than 100 employees was not reported. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the net worth of each will be part of the FAFSA calculation.
  • Automatic Pell Grants based on income and household size: The FAFSA Simplification Act extends the Federal Pell Grant to more students and links eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level. Families making less than 175% and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI.
  • The FAFSA will continue to be required for federal aid consideration, will be used for state and institutional need-based aid determination, and remains an annual application that continuing students will need to complete each year.
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parents must provide information on your FAFSA remain the same.
  • The FAFSA will request tax information from the prior-prior tax year. Families with significant reductions in income levels can review the special circumstances process.
  • Degree-seeking students will be eligible for federal student loans assuming they complete the FAFSA, have not reached annual or aggregate limits, are enrolled at least half-time, and are not in default on previous federal student loans.
  • Since the FAFSA will open later this year, it is important to take action as soon as possible.
  • It’s always a good idea to obtain an FSA ID prior to filing the FAFSA. All students and parents will need an FSA ID. If parents file their taxes separately, they will both need an FSA ID. If parents file taxes jointly, then they only need one between the two of them.
  • The FAFSA will request tax information from the prior-prior tax year. Families with significant reductions in income levels can review the special circumstances process.
  • You can obtain an FSA ID to file the FAFSA at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch.