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Impacts & Benefits

The FAFSA® is getting a makeover with the hopes of making it even easier for students and their families to submit.

Not only will there be fewer questions on the FAFSA® to answer, and fewer requirements overall, your tax information will be retrieved through a data exchange with the IRS.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) also estimates we should see an increase in the number of students eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant.

The 2024-25 FAFSA® is currently available and colleges are receiving FAFSAs®. However, discrepancies with FAFSA® data continue to delay FAFSA® processing. NCMC is working as quickly and diligently as possible to process FAFSA® data and communicate to students. Our primary focus is on delivering accurate aid eligibility. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

FSA ID

Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA®, all users/contributors must have an FSA ID and password to fill out the FAFSA®, even those without a Social Security Number (SSN) .

Note: The Department of Education (ED) announced on February 20, 2024, that it would resolve a 2024-25 FAFSA issue that is preventing submission when a contributor does not have a Social Security Number (SSN), in the “first half” of March.

Processing your FSA ID can take up to one to three days. We recommend creating your FSA ID at least a week before you start your FAFSA®.

What is an FSA ID?

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

Who needs an FSA ID?

Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA®, all contributors (student, student’s spouse, and/or parent(s)) must have their own FSA ID.

How do you get an FSA ID?

To create your FSA ID, please go to https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch.

What if I don’t remember my FSA ID or am not sure if I have one?

To retrieve a forgotten FSA ID or password, please go to https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/sign-in/landing and click either the “Forgot my Username” or “Forgot my Password” links.

When should I create my FSA ID?

Now!

In general, because it can take up to one to three days, we recommend creating it at least a week before you start your FAFSA®.

What’s Changing?

Contributors

A contributor refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA® (student, student’s spouse, biological or adoptive parent(s), parent’s spouse). Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.

  • You, the student, will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of your FAFSA®.
  • Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of your FAFSA®. They will only be able to see and complete their own specific sections of your FAFSA®.
  • Each contributor must provide consent to have their federal tax information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA®, even if they didn’t file taxes. If consent is not given, you will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional; moving forward it is required. Note: If your parents are married and filed a joint tax return, only one parent contributor will need to provide consent.
Which Parent to Use in Divorced/Separated Situations
If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent is the parent who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA®. If equal financial support is provided, the contributing parent is the parent who has the greater income or assets. It will no longer default to the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.  Is My Parent a Contributor When I Fill Out My FAFSA® Form?
Family Size and Number in College

The number of people in your family size will be automatically imported from your Federal Tax Information (FTI). If your family size is different from the number of individuals claimed on your 2022 tax return, you are given the option to update.

The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA®, but it will be excluded from the final calculated Student Aid Index (SAI).

Assets

Child Support Received

The annual amount of child support received (i.e. in the last complete calendar year) should be included in the assets you report.

Small Business and Farm Assets

The net worth of any small business and/or farm must be included on the FAFSA®. Remember, net worth = asset value minus asset debt.

Education Savings Accounts (i.e. 529 Plans)

For dependent students, these accounts will only be counted as a parental asset if the account is designated for the student.

Terminology

EFC > SAI

The final figure calculated by the FAFSA® will no longer be called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Rather, it will be called the Student Aid Index (SAI) to more accurately describe how that number is used to determine financial aid eligibility. And, instead of a scale of 0 to 999,999, the SAI could be a negative number and the new scale is from -1,500 to 999,999.

Student Aid Report (SAR) > FAFSA® Submission Summary

Similarly, the Student Aid Report (SAR) which is the confirmation of what’s been submitted will now be referred to as the FAFSA® Submission Summary.

Veteran

To align with the Veterans Administration (VA) definition, a veteran is “a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.”

Unusual Circumstances

Otherwise dependent students who indicate that they have unusual circumstances that prevent them from providing parent data will no longer receive a rejected FASFA but will instead have their application processed with provisional independent status, a provisional SAI, and an estimate of federal student aid eligibility.

However, if you’re a student in this situation, you must still follow up with the Financial Aid office to make final determinations.

What’s Not Changing?

Basic Eligibility

The FAFSA® will continue to be made available on an annual basis for federal financial aid consideration and students must meet the eligibility requirements.

It is the only application NCMC uses for consideration of federal and state sources of financial aid.

Dependency Status

The requirement that determines whether you, the student, are required to provide parent information on your FAFSA® will remain the same. The FAFSA® includes a series of questions and you must be able to answer ‘Yes’ to at least one question to be considered Independent for financial aid purposes. Read more>>

Prior-Prior Year Tax Data

The FAFSA® will use prior-prior tax data, which could be up to two years old.

If you or your family have experienced significant changes in income or have expenses that are not reflected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), your special circumstances may be eligible for a professional judgment.

Related Resources

Disclaimer

Our information is limited, but we will continue to update this page as more details become available. The details included on this page are what we can currently confirm. Check back regularly for updates.