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New FAFSA Changes Students Must Know

Lendstart Updated: June 28, 2023 • 5 min read
FAFSA student loan

FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, must be filled out when applying for student financial assistance. This form determines your eligibility for different types of student financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study programs. In addition, the FAFSA includes questions about your income, assets, family size, and other factors used to figure out how much aid you can qualify for. 

Completing the FAFSA is important in ensuring you can afford higher education. In 2024 and 2025, big changes are coming to the FAFSA with the FAFSA Simplification Act. Keeping up to date with these FAFSA changes can help you maximize your financial aid, so we’re going to tell you all about them today.

What is the FAFSA deadline for 2024-2025?

As a result of extensive revisions to the FAFSA form and procedure, the Federal Student Aid (FSA) has announced the delay of the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

Historically, the FAFSA becomes accessible for the upcoming year on October 1 of any given year. This year, however, the release of the FAFSA will be postponed until December 2023.

fafsa dates 2024-2025

Which Changes are Coming to the FAFSA?

The accessibility date change is just one of the changes coming to FAFSA this year. 

Here are several others:

1. Amount of Questions Reduced

To streamline the experience for FAFSA participants, the number of questions to answer has been reduced to 36, down from 108. This will make the application process easier and simpler to understand. The new FAFSA does, however, includes new questions requesting your sex, race, and ethnicity for research purposes only, without impacting aid decisions.

Additionally, the new FAFSA will be translated into 11 languages, beyond the current availability of English and Spanish.

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2. Pell Grant Eligibility Expanded

Students with a Student Aid Index (SAI) of $0 or less will be eligible for the maximum Pell Grant amount—$7,395 for the 2023-24 school year. If your SAI is smaller, you may qualify for a smaller grant. If your SAI is greater, you may still qualify for the minimum amount based on family size, income, and poverty guidelines, with the smallest Pell Grant amount being $750 for full-time students in 2023-24.

Additionally, the FAFSA will no longer include questions about certain convictions. This will make it easier for students with such charges to be eligible for Pell Grants. Starting in July of 2023, incarcerated students in federal or state prisons enrolled in approved prison education programs will also be eligible for Pell Grants. 

3. Selective Service Registration Requirements Lifted

Students no longer need to register for Selective Service to get federal aid. Previously, male students under 26 were required to enroll in order to qualify.

4. Tax Return Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act lets users retrieve their federal tax information straight from the IRS. This eliminates the need to manually provide tax returns when filling out the form, which was a time-consuming and tricky process for many. 

5. Larger Income Protection Allowances (IPA)

With larger income protection allowances (IPA) on the new FAFSA, the income students and parents can contribute to college expenses is lowered, resulting in increased financial aid eligibility. This is meant to make college more affordable for students from lower-income families. 

SAI minimum pell grant

What Do FAFSA Changes Mean for You?

As you can see, all kinds of changes are coming to the FAFSA for 2024-2025. Fortunately, the simplified application form and automatic retrieval of tax information from the IRS should make it easier for students to apply and receive aid faster. Furthermore, increased Pell Grant eligibility could open up higher education opportunities for disadvantaged populations.

Understanding these new FAFSA rules can help you maximize your financial aid possibilities when applying for college in the 2023-2024 school year and the years after. Keeping up with these developments is vital to ensuring you get the necessary resources to succeed in your higher education journey.

Other FAFSA Form Deadlines

Along with the many upcoming FAFSA changes, there is a lot of other information students should be aware of. So, let's cover that next.

When is the 2023 FAFSA deadline?

Keeping up with the new FAFSA dates will ensure you don't miss any critical deadlines. 

This year, the deadline for submitting the FAFSA form is June 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. If you must make any corrections or updates, submit them by September 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

It's also worth mentioning again that there is a delay for the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Throughout history, it's always been available on October 1 for students to fill out for the following academic year. This year, however, it is postponed until December 2023.

Visit this post next to learn even more about the FAFSA deadline. 

Where do I find the FAFSA application?

With the deadline quickly approaching, you'll want to submit your FAFSA form as soon as possible. To do so, log on to fafsa.gov and start the online application process. 

If you'd rather fill out a PDF version of the FAFSA, call us at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and request a printout from them. You will then need to manually fill out the form and mail it in for processing, so this needs to be done in time for that to happen.

What are the three most common FAFSA form mistakes?

To ensure you don't make some of the most common mistakes when filling out the all-important FAFSA form, here are the three most important ones to avoid.

  1. Not filling out the application in its entirety: Make sure you fill out and submit all sections of the FAFSA, even if they're irrelevant to your circumstances. Failing to do so can result in delays or incomplete aid packages.
  2. Entering inaccurate information: Double-check all entries for accuracy, including Social Security numbers and birthdates of both you and any dependent family members. Incorrect entries may lead to a denial or delay in receiving financial aid.
  3. Missing deadlines: Keep track of when your applications are due. Missing deadlines leads to an inability to receive aid for that academic year, which could mean paying more for college expenses.

Tips for Filling Out the FAFSA Form

Finally, let's talk about how to fill out the FAFSA form. As we mentioned, filling it out inaccurately or incompletely are two common mistakes applicants make, so these tips should help you avoid these errors.

  • Gather all your financial documents, such as tax returns and bank statements, before you start filling out the form.
  • Triple-check your answers and make sure everything is correct before submitting the FAFSA.
  • Ensure you and your parents sign the form if needed (for dependent students).
  • Consult with someone from your college's financial aid office if you need help understanding or completing the form.

mistakes on the FAFSA


With all of the upcoming FAFSA changes, it's more important now than ever to make sure you understand and follow all of the FAFSA rules. 

Lendstart has you covered for everything you need to know about getting the funding you need for your education. Learn more about student loans and financing options here.

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