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You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA became available on December 31, 2023.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.
  • The number of questions on the FAFSA application has been greatly reduced. 
  • New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.


We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

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2024 Financial Aid Seminar Session Recordings

In case you missed our Financial Aid Seminar, or you'd like to brush-up on the topics we discussed, please visit the link below to find all session recordings.

Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA became available on December 31, 2023. This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.

John Carroll University as well as schools across the country will be receiving students FAFSA information starting in late March to begin processing. 

The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • The FAFSA is introducing the new term, contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs. 
    • Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA. 
    • Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA. 
  • If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent(s) is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA. It is not automatically the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.
  • All Contributors–student, student's spouse (if married), and/or student's parents(s) (if a dependent student)–must provide consent to have tax data transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided by all parties, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional. It is now required.
  • The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). Unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number.
  • Small businesses and family farms are now considered assets. 
  • The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA, but it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation(s).
  • The Student Aid Report (SAR) will now be referred to as the FAFSA Submission Summary. This is the summary submission document you receive after completing the FAFSA.

The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation is expected to expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

Prior to completing your FAFSA, you can prepare by doing the following:

  • Create or confirm* your FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website for all contributors such as parent(s) or spouse.
    • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature. For more information about your FSA ID please click here.
    • It is important that FSA ID's are completed at least 3 days prior to completely the FAFSA application.
    • Guide to creating and maintaining your FSA ID.

*If you already have an FSA ID you do not need to create a new ID, please just confirm all contributors have their FSA ID's

Watch the recording of our recent FAFSA webinar for more information and helpful reminders about the new process from our financial aid experts.

The 2024-25 FAFSA: What You Need To Know Webinar

What's not changing?

These federal aid requirements, rights, and responsibilities have either not changed or have had minor updates:

  1. The FAFSA remains required annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens. How to apply for aid.
  2. Questions introduced in 2023-24 about the applicant's sex, race, and ethnicity have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and remain only for statistical purposes.
  3. Dependency status questions to determine if your parents must provide their information remain the same.
  4. FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information
  5. Federal Aid Rights & Responsibilities also didn't change.