When does FAFSA Open for 2024-25

When does FAFSA open for 2024-25

Are you wondering like other students When does FAFSA Open for 2024-25? then you are at the right article. If you are about to finish your high school, it is important to think about how you will pay for your college tuition. You can start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. It is a form that every senior should complete to check if they qualify for financial aid. In this article, we will see when does FAFSA opens for 2024-25.

When does FAFSA open for 2024-25 academic year?

For the class of 2024-25, filling out the FAFSA is easier. The Department of Education has simplified FAFSA. You are the first full class to use the new version. The new, simplified FAFSA will be available in December 2024. It is later than the usual start date of October 1st 2024. But for the upcoming academic year 2025-26, FAFSA deadline will be back to normal.

For the school year 2024-25, FAFSA will be much shorter. It will have only 36 questions instead of 108. It will ask for detailed financial info and make it easier to add income data from tax records. The Department of Education will also change how it decides who gets aid and how much they get.

The aim is to make things simpler. But the students will face some challenges. 

  • The new form will be ready in December, three months later than usual. This will give students less time to fill it out. 
  • There are changes in the formulas used to decide aid, which now focus more on wealth rather than cash flow.

What changes in FAFSA 2024-25 should you expect? 

Here are some of the most important changes:

  • FAFSA will open in December 2024 instead of the usual October 1st 2024.
  • To get started, both you and your parents need to create a Student Aid Account and get an FSA ID. This is like your username and password for accessing the form.
  • After creating your FSA ID, you will need to wait at least three days for verification from the Social Security Administration. Then, you and your parents can log in separately to complete your parts of the FAFSA.
  • If your parents are divorced or separated, the one who provided the most financial support last year will now fill out the form.
  • The number of siblings you have in college won’t affect your FAFSA anymore.
  • You will need to include the net worth of any family farms or small businesses when applying.

Negative Effects of FAFSA Changes

This is how the FAFSA changes are going to impact you negatively:

1. Shortage of Time

The FAFSA start date will move to December. It means families have less time to submit it, even though the final deadline is June 30, 2025. But you should watch out because states and colleges can set their deadlines too. So, they might need to give you more time to apply.

2. Impact on Student Aid Index

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is now called the Student Aid Index. It is still used to calculate how much aid you might need for college expenses. But, it won’t be divided by the number of students in your family attending college anymore. This change means families with multiple students in college will get less financial aid.

For example, if your EFC was $20,000 last year and you had two kids in college, it was divided by two. This makes it $10,000 per student. Now, your Student Aid Index will be $20,000 per student. This will lower the aid you might receive. This could mean a significant reduction in financial aid for many families.

EconoFact estimates that nearly 900,000 students with a sibling in college will still get financial aid. But they might lose thousands of dollars. As per Brookings around 157,000 students may lose all eligibility. This will potentially cost them thousands of dollars each.

3. Impact on families with adjusted Gross Income

If your family earns around $60,000 and owns a farm or a small business with fewer than 100 employees, you will need to count these as part of your financial assets for college expenses. 

Let’s say your family’s farm is worth $1 million. Before, you might have been expected to contribute about $7,600 for college. But now, with the new rules, you might have to pay over $41,000. This could make you ineligible for certain financial aid programs. This might force you to rely more on student loans.

Benefits of FAFSA Changes 

FAFSA changes are not just limited to negative impacts but there are many benefits of FAFSA changes as well. Let’s have a look at them one by one: 

1. Regular Schedule for 2025-26

For the academic year 2025-26, FAFSA will go back to its regular schedule. It will open on Oct. 1, 2025, and close on June 30, 2026. This means you will have more time to fill out a simpler form. 

The shorter and simpler FAFSA is expected to help more students complete it. It will increase access to college and make billions of dollars in financial aid available. 

A study by NerdWallet showed that the class of 2018 missed out on $2.6 billion in federal aid because eligible students did not finish the FAFSA.

2. Larger income protection allowances

The allowances provided cover your family’s daily living expenses. They are not counted in the financial aid calculation. Bigger allowances mean you and your parents can contribute less to college costs. This will increase your financial aid eligibility. 

Parents’ allowances are expected to go up by 20%, while for most students, it will rise by about $2,400 (35%). Single parents’ allowances can increase by up to about $6,500 (60%).

3. Automatic Pell Grants 

If your family earns less than 175% of the federal poverty level or you are a single parent earning less than 225%, you will get the maximum grant. Students from households earning below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level will receive minimum grants. 

It depends on their family structure. This helps you quickly find out if you are eligible. The Pell Grant is the main federal grant for low- and middle-income students. It helped over 6 million students afford college in the 2021-22 school year.

4. Restoring Pell eligibility

State Higher Education Executive Officers is a national association. It predicts that about 9.4% more students, roughly 276,000 could qualify for a Pell Grant with the new calculation. This includes previously ineligible students. Also students with drug-related convictions will once again be eligible for financial aid.

5. A negative contribution score

You might now see family contribution amounts as low as minus $1,500, rather than zero. Even though federal financial aid cannot exceed college expenses. But if you have a negative score, it will help the department to identify the neediest students. This will help states and schools target aid more accurately based on students’ need.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When does the FAFSA open for the 2024-25 school year?

FAFSA for the 2024-25 school year is starting in December and not on the usual October 1st.

2. How has the FAFSA application process changed for the class of 2024-25?

For the class of 2024, FAFSA has got simpler. Now, it has got only 36 questions, down from 108. Also, they changed how they figure out who gets aid. It focuses more on how much you are worth rather than just how much cash you have.

3. What should students and parents do to prepare for filling out the FAFSA?

Both you and your parents need to create a Student Aid Account and get an FSA ID. This ID is super important because you need it to access the form. Once you have got your FSA ID, you will need to get it verified by the Social Security Administration. After that, both you and your parents will need to log in separately to complete your parts of the FAFSA.

4. How do the changes in FAFSA impact families with multiple students attending college?

They are changing how they calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). It  is now called the Student Aid Index. Before, they used to divide it by the number of students in your family in college, but not anymore. This might mean that families with more than one student in college could get less financial aid.

5. What are the potential benefits of the FAFSA changes for future years?

Starting from the 2025-26 school year, things will go back to normal. The FAFSA will open on October 1st and close on June 30th. It will give you more time to fill it out. Also, they are making some changes to help students get more financial aid. This includes increasing income protection allowances and giving automatic Pell Grants to those who qualify.


The changes to FAFSA for the 2024-25 school year have both good and bad sides for students and families. The delayed start in December might reduce the time, but the simpler form and changes to aid calculations will make things easier for students. 

But, families with multiple college kids or assets like farms need to worry a little. But, the Department of Education is offering bigger income allowances and automatic Pell Grants for those who qualify. 

The main goal behind these changes is to make getting financial aid smoother and open up college opportunities. They want to make sure everyone can get the support they need for higher education. It is important you understand these changes and plan wisely to get the most out of financial aid opportunities.

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