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FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act passed on December 27, 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in Title IV programs.


Key Changes for 2024-25:

  • Replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC with Student Aid Index (SAI)
  • Links eligibility to family size and federal poverty level
  • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is being replaced with the Direct Data Exchange (DDX)
  • Undocumented parents with students completing the FAFSA are now eligible for a free account (formerly FSA ID). *See additional information below
  • Parents are now considered Contributors on the application, and must provide consent in order to add their information and use the DDX.
    • Spouse’s are also considered Contributors IF the tax filing status was, “Married Filing Separately.”
  • Family size will be based on the number of tax exemptions claimed on the tax form(s) transferred onto the FAFSA.       
    • Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have had an increase in family size (i.e. an additional child) since the tax year in question. You may qualify for a Professional Judgement.
  • Students can now add up to 20 colleges on the application.
  • Rejected FAFSA applications will only be kept on record with the Department of Education for 45 days. Be sure to complete your application!
  • Paper Signature Pages will no longer be accepted by the Financial Aid Office.


*As of March 2024 undocumented parents are unable to create an FSA ID and sign for their students. Below is the recommendation from the Department of Education on how to proceed.