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The 2024-2025 FAFSA launched on December 31st, 2023. However, the U.S. Department of Education announced that schools will not begin to receive FAFSA data until mid-March. Therefore, the Office of Financial Aid will not be able to confirm that we have received your FAFSA until late-March (at the earliest). Our team plans to tentatively start notifying incoming CAS students of their BU financial aid offer in April. Additional updates will be posted here as announced.

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and encompasses significant changes to the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the FAFSA form, terminology, school policies and procedures as well as the need analysis calculation which determines federal aid eligibility.

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available by December 31, 2023.

There are a number of benefits of the FAFSA Simplification Act, including:

  • The FAFSA number of questions will be reduced from 108 to 46.
  • There will be expanded aid eligibility and reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners and students from low-income backgrounds).
  • The FAFSA will be available in the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents.
  • Students may list up to 20 colleges.

Some fundamental changes include but are not limited to:

  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1,500.
  • All "Contributors" must provide financial information. A contributor is a new term that refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's application (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's responses on the FAFSA will determine which contributor(s) (if any) will be required to provide information. Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. Being a contributor does not mean the contributor is financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA, or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.
  • The parent responsible for completing the FAFSA in instances of divorce or separation has changed. Starting with the 2024-2025 academic year, the income and assets are reported for the parent who provides the most financial support over the 12 months prior to completing the FAFSA, even if the student does not live with that parent or lives with the other parent. Please visit this studentaid.gov web page for more information on dependency status and reporting contributor(s) information.
  • Students and contributors will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX). Starting in the 2024-2025 academic year, all students and contributors on the FAFSA must provide consent for the U.S. Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In some unique and rare cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most, tax data will be automatically transferred into the application from the IRS. This change will make it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduce the number of application fields to complete.
  • The number of dependent students in college will not be used to calculate the SAI. Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many dependent students will be enrolled in college, but this answer will not be calculated into the SAI. Therefore, undergraduate students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal and/or state aid eligibility.
  • Family farms and small businesses will be required to be reported as assets. If applicable, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm, regardless of the number of employees. If a family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants must determine the net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final net value of their farm assets.
  • Annual Child support received will be reported as an asset instead of income.
  • The value of an education savings plan(s) (including a 529 plan) for dependent students should be reported as a parental asset (as part of investment net worth) only if the account is designated for the student for whom you are completing the FAFSA.

Additional Resources:

What is the FAFSA?


What's changed on the 2024-2025 FAFSA?


How to Create an Account and Username (FSA ID) for StudentAid.gov 


Who is a Contributor on the 2024-2025 FAFSA Form? 


Bethel University's Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to providing timely updates to students and families. Due to the significant number of changes that are occurring, portions of our website may not yet be 100% accurate for the 2024-2025 academic year. We'll continue to update this page as we receive more information from the U.S. Department of Education and Federal Student Aid, and we appreciate your patience as we work to implement these changes.