2024-2025 FAFSA Changes
Changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting with the 2024-2025 academic year.
New Student Enrollment Deposit Deadline Extended to June 1
The admissions deposit deadline has been extended to June 1 in response to notification from the Department of Education that the release of FAFSA applicant data to colleges and universities will be further delayed. More information on admissions next steps is available in your Beacon Gateway and on the admissions webpages.
The 2024-2025 FAFSA is Available Now. However, There are Known Issues.
Students are encouraged to complete their 2024-25 FAFSA as soon as possible. Visit the Department of Education website for the most up-to-date information on known issues that the Department of Education is working to resolve. Take advantage of their pro-tips that will help you successfully complete your FAFSA.
UMass Boston will begin to review student FAFSA information as soon as this information is released by the Department of Education. We recognize that this is a stressful time and appreciate your patience as we work to determine financial aid eligibility for students as quickly as possible.
With affordable tuition and generous financial aid, UMass Boston remains committed to ensuring access to quality education.
When Will I Receive my Financial Aid Offer?
We expect to begin determining financial aid offers for incoming fall 2024 students who have completed the 24-25 FAFSA and who have a complete financial aid file by mid-April at the earliest. Likewise, financial aid offers for returning students will be determined by mid-June at the earliest.
Why is the FAFSA Application Changing?
The FAFSA Simplification Act, enacted into law by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, made significant changes to how students and families apply for student aid and how financial aid eligibility is determined. The good news is that the new FAFSA will be simplified with a reduced number of questions. Outdated restrictions have also been removed to make federal student aid more accessible to all students. In addition, formulas for determining aid eligibility have been modified to expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to low-income families.
The FAFSA Simplification Act will be implemented alongside the Future Act which authorizes a direct data exchange with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to complete the FAFSA form.
What’s Changing With the FAFSA?
2024-2045 FAFSA Application Available Now
The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available now! The launch had been delayed by the Department of Education but can be completed online now at studentaid.gov.
You must complete a FAFSA application each year for the upcoming academic year. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA application will be available in October as usual.
2024-2025 FAFSA Changes
- After you submit your FAFSA and it’s processed by ED, the calculation that results will no longer be the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI).
- High-need students may receive a negative SAI as low as -1,500.
- The SAI is used to determine eligibility for financial aid programs.
- Unlike the EFC calculation, the SAI calculation will not consider the number of family members in college. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college. (Although the number of family members in college will be asked on the FAFSA, this information will be excluded from the SAI calculation.)
- Additional student race and gender questions. The student responses to these questions will not be shared with institutions and are not used in the consideration of student aid eligibility.
FAFSA Contributors and Consent
A FAFSA contributor refers to those who are required to provide information on the FAFSA application. Each contributor will now need to provide their consent to retrieve their Federal Tax Information (FTI) and disclose their FTI on the FAFSA.
Since FTI includes filing status, consent is still required even if the contributor did not file a U.S. federal tax return (or any tax return). (If consent is declined by a contributor, the student’s FAFSA application will not be processed and the student will be ineligible for financial aid).
Note: Students experiencing unusual circumstances are encouraged to reach out to their Financial Aid Counselor regarding their unusual circumstance. The Financial Aid Counselor will provide guidance to the student on how to proceed with completing the FAFSA. Unusual circumstances exist when a student is unaccompanied and homeless or at risk of homelessness, unable to contact a parent, or when contact with the parent is detrimental to the student’s health. Examples include human trafficking, legally granted refugee or asylum status, parental abandonment or estrangement, and parental incarceration.
In the FAFSA application, you’ll enter the contributor’s name, date of birth, social security number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete their required portion of the FAFSA.
Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA such as demographic and asset information.
Who are Contributors for 2024-2025 FAFSA Purposes?
Contributors are those required to provide consent and approval for obtaining Federal Tax Information (FTI) needed to complete a student’s FAFSA.
In addition to the student, if applicable, a contributor may include:
- Student’s spouse (if the student is independent and filed separate 2022 federal tax returns)
- Biological or adopted parent(s) (if the student is dependent)
- Parent’s spouse (stepparent)
Unless they have legally adopted you, contributors are NOT:
- Foster parents
- Widowed stepparents
- Legal guardians
- Aunts or Uncles
Who is a contributing parent?
- Your legal (biological, adoptive, or as determined by the state (parent is listed on birth certificate)) parents
- married to each other (not separated), both parents are contributors
- unmarried but living together, both parents are contributors
- Divorced or separated parents (not remarried)
- The parent of record on the FAFSA (primary parent) is the parent who provided the greater portion of the student’s financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA.
- If neither parent provided support in the 12-month period, the parent of record on the FAFSA is the parent who provided the greater portion of support during the most recent year that the student received financial support from a parent.
- The parent who pays child support should include the amount of child support paid during the relevant 12-month period when determining which parent provided more than half of the student’s financial support.
- Keep in mind that the parent of record on the FAFSA is not automatically the parent that the student primarily lived with during the 12-month period prior to filing the FAFSA.
- If both parents claim an equal amount of support, then the parent of record is the parent with the greater amount of income and assets. If neither parent provided a greater portion of support during the most recent year that the student received support from a parent, the parent of record is the parent with the higher amount of income and assets.
- Death of a parent
- If either parent has died before the student completes the FAFSA, the surviving parent only is the FAFSA parent of record, unless the parent is remarried. If the surviving parent remarries prior to the student filing the FAFSA, the surviving parent and stepparent are FAFSA contributors.
- Remarried parents
- If the FAFSA parent of record as determined in 2 or 3 above remarries before the filing of the FAFSA, both the parent of record and that parent’s spouse shall be FAFSA contributors.
- Start by considering each individual biological/adoptive parent’s financial support without regard to any stepparent’s income and support. After determining which biological/adoptive parent provided the greater portion of the student’s financial support, if the parent FAFSA of record is remarried at the time of FAFSA filing, that parent’s spouse/student’s stepparent is also a FAFSA contributor.
- Single parent who is not divorced or separated
- If not described in 1 above, the single parent who is not divorced, separated or remarried, shall be the single parent FAFSA contributor.
- If parents are married and filed a joint 2022 federal tax return, only one parent needs to complete the FAFSA as a contributor.
- If married parents filed separate 2022 federal tax returns, both parents need to complete the FAFSA as a contributor.
- If an independent student is married and filed a joint 2022 federal tax return with a spouse, the student is the only FAFSA contributor.
- If an independent student is married and filed 2022 federal tax returns separately or if the student and/or spouse did not file a 2022 federal tax return, then both student and spouse are FAFSA contributors.
FSA ID (With or Without Social Security Number)
All FAFSA contributors will need to have an FSA ID (account username and password). The FSA ID allows you and your parents or contributors to identify yourselves electronically so you can electronically sign the FAFSA and access Federal Student Aid websites.
You and your other contributors who have a Social Security Number (SSN) and do not yet have an FSA ID are encouraged to create an FSA ID now.
How to get an FSA ID for individuals without a Social Security Number (SSN)
The Department of Education is aware of a known issue involving students who do not have a SSN.
Except for student citizens of the Freely Associated States (who don’t always have a SSNs), the student must use a SSN to create their student FSA ID since the student must have an SSN to be eligible for Title IV aid.
Other contributors do not need to have an SSN. If the individual does not have an SSN, they will be asked to provide their address and will be guided through a knowledge-based identity authentication process.
An FSA ID is required to file the online FAFSA.
Further guidance is available here: FSA ID without SSN
How Can I Prepare for the 2024-2025 FAFSA?
- Review the Department of Education's pro-tips for the 2024-2025 FAFSA.
- We encourage students and expected FAFSA contributors to create or confirm their FSA ID. Do this as soon as possible since creating an FSA ID takes 3 to 5 days.
- Watch this Federal Student Aid video to guide you through the steps to create your FSA ID.
- Creating an FSA ID involves two-step verification which is a security feature that helps protect your StudentAid.gov account from fraud. When two-step verification is enabled, a code sent to the mobile phone, in addition to the username and password, is required when logging in.
- Each contributor must have a unique mobile phone number or email for multi-factor authentication.
- Since the 2024-2025 FAFSA collects prior-prior year income (two years before the start of the academic year), consider if special circumstances exist that may allow an appeal to be requested after the FAFSA application is completed.