Better FAFSA, Better Future

Better FAFSA, Better Future

FAFSA Launch for 2024-25

The 2024-25 FAFSA will open in December 2023, not October 1.

The UNCSA 2024-25 FAFSA Priority Filing Date is Feb. 1, 2024. Submitting the FAFSA in January 2024 will allow the most potential need-based aid. The FAFSA process should begin with the student.

The FAFSA form will return to an October 1 opening date for 2025-26 on Oct. 1, 2024.

Why the delay?

The Department of Education is busy making changes to the FAFSA and the formulas using the data from the FAFSA. The goal of these changes include:

  • A better user experience for the FAFSA form.
  • A more streamlined application process.
  • Expanded eligibility for federal aid-- We expect to see more students eligible for Federal Pell Grant than before.

What Are Some of the Important Changes?

Contributors - Any individual required to provide information on the FAFSA is now called a FAFSA “contributor”. In addition to the student, contributors can include the student’s spouse, a biological or adoptive parent and the parent’s spouse (step-parent).

  • Remember, the FAFSA process should begin with the student.
  • The student’s answers on the FAFSA form will determine if any “contributors” need to be identified.
    • To invite a contributor to their FAFSA form, the student will need to provide the name, date of birth, Social Security number, and email address of the contributor(s).
    • For divorced or separated parents, the parent who provided the most financial support over the previous 12 months is required to contribute to the FAFSA. (If that parent is married now, their spouse will also be a contributor.)
    • Contributors will then log in with their own FSA ID and complete their sections of the form with their personal and financial information.
    • Every contributor must provide consent and approval for the student to be eligible for federal student aid. With consent and approval, federal tax information will be automatically transferred from the IRS to help complete the FAFSA® form.

Student Aid Index (SAI) - A new measure called the Student Aid Index (SAI) will be calculated from the FAFSA to determine the student’s aid eligibility. Eligibility changes include:

  • The number of students in a family enrolled in college will no longer factor into the FAFSA calculation.
  • The net worth of ALL family farms and businesses must be reported, regardless of the number of employees.
  • Some students may see changes to their Pell Grant eligibility as a result of the FAFSA changes.

What Can Be Done Now to Prepare?

While waiting for the December launch of the FAFSA, you can create needed FSA IDs.

  • First-time filers must create a FSA ID.
  • An FSA ID is required to file a FAFSA, and both students and parents need one. If parents file their taxes separately, they both need an FSA ID. If they file taxes jointly, only one parent needs one FSA ID.
  • New FSA IDs may take up to 3 days to be received, so plan ahead.
  • If you already have an FSA ID, you will be able to continue using current FSA IDs with the new FAFSA.

You can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to get an estimate of your Student Aid Index (SAI).

What’s next?

  • The Department of Education is finalizing the 2024-24 FAFSA form.
  • The Office of Student Financial Aid will provide updates as additional information becomes available.
  • In the meantime, please contact us at or 336-770-3297 if you have any questions.