FAQ's on 2024-2025 FAFSA
Please check back often for further updates or visit "What's New with Financial Aid" for additional information. The Department of Education continues to provide further guidance to families and financial aid offices.
On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which included the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. For 2024-2025 only the FAFSA will become available by December 31. The Department of Education will not be transmitting FAFSA data to institutions until late January/early February.
Students and families will see a different measure, the Student Aid Index (SAI), of their ability to pay for college and will also experience a change in the federal methodology used to determine aid. The new federal formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation and allows a minimum SAI of negative $1,500 to give financial aid administrators more insight when making determinations for students with especially challenging situations. Any student who has a -$1,500 SAI will receive maximum Federal Pell Grant.
The new federal formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation for federal eligibility.
The College Board CSS Profile will still ask for the number of family members in college and will utilize this in their calculation. This means that when we award need—based institutional aid we will consider number in college.
Parents are now referred to as “contributors” and must provide consent for the FAFSA to be processed. Parents will be notified by email when they've been identified as a contributor by the student. You will start the FAFSA by entering an FSA ID (that the student must define) and initiating a contributor (parent) to include family financial information. The parent (contributor) will then receive an email inviting them to complete their portion of the FAFSA. The parent (contributor) will have 45 days from the date of the email to complete the FAFSA. If the parent (contributor) does not complete their portion before the 45 days is over, then the student will have to start the FAFSA again.
Parents are now referred to as “contributors” and must provide consent for the FAFSA to be processed. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)--used to collect Federal Tax Information (FTI) directly from the IRS and bring it to the FAFSA--is now known as the Future Act Direct Data Exchange. All information will be masked for confidentiality. The contributor (parent) must consent for the Department of Education to use their FTI to determine eligibility for federal aid. Contributors must consent annually. Without the consent of FTI, families are ineligible for federal grants and loans.
The online consent permits the Department of Education to use your FTI (Federal Tax Information) for the purpose of determining eligibility for federal student aid. The information brought in from the IRS will be masked. Consent includes the authorization (valid for an entire aid year) to redisclose FTI to institutions of higher education, state higher education institutions, and designated scholarship organizations. Without the consent of FTI families are ineligible for federal grants and loans.
The household size will be determined by the tax return, the number in college will not be used in the calculation.
The parent listed on the FAFSA is the parent that provides the greater financial support. There is no longer the requirement that the student must live with that parent.
Confused about which parent is the contributor? The Department of Education will provide the Parent Wizard to help determine which parent to list as the contributor on the FAFSA and complete it accurately.
There are a few scenarios to consider:
For dependent students with married parents who filed taxes jointly, only one parent has to be the contributor and provide consent.
For dependent students with married parents who filed taxes separately, both parents are required to be the contributor and provide consent.
Parents or contributors who report their marital status as divorced or remarried may be prompted to enter their tax information manually.
For independent students the spouse is a contributor and must provide consent.
If parents are divorced or separated, the parent that will be listed on the FAFSA will now be the parent that provided the greater portion of the financial support. It is no longer a requirement that the student has to live with that parent the most. If there is exactly equal support between the custodial and non-custodial parent, the parent with the greater income will complete the FAFSA.
For those with no social security number, non-citizen spouses or parents, an FSA ID will be required, but will be authenticated with additional verification questions.
Note: Please be aware that it may take several business days to create the FSA ID and being able to utilize it. Contributor information is verified appropriate federal agencies.
For prospective applicants applying for either Early Decision I (EDI) or Early Decision II (EDII) the Office of Financial Aid will provide estimated awards while we wait for the Department of Education to release the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Bryn Mawr College remains committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need and the delayed release of the FAFSA will not impact an applicant’s eligibility. EDI applicants should complete their CSS Profile, federal tax returns, schedules and W2’s by November 15, and EDII applicants should complete these items by January 1. We will send out communications to students who were admitted under EDI or EDII when the FAFSA becomes available so that we can finalize our financial aid offers.