FAFSA Simplification Act

“FAFSA® Simplification Act: On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.”

Most recent updates

Updated Tuesday, April 30

Access to the 2024-25 FAFSA form for individuals without a Social Security Number. New users who request a StudentAid.gov account and cannot validate their identity using the knowledge-based questions (as generated by TransUnion) must still complete the manual process to validate their identity. However, they will not have to wait to have their identity validation completed before they can use their account username and password to access and complete the online 2024-25 FAFSA form.

Individuals who are currently awaiting the results of the identity validation process may begin using theStudentAid.gov account they created to immediately access the form. The Department will also email these individuals to notify them if they are affected by this change.

Updated Monday, April 15

Student corrections. Student corrections are now broadly available for applicants and their contributors. Most of these corrections should only take a few minutes to fix and schools will receive updated ISIRs within a few days. Dependent students who need to change their answer to include aid beyond unsubsidized loans will need to invite a contributor or contributors to complete their section. To make corrections, applicants should log into their student.gov account.

Updated Friday, February 16

Technical issues. If you are having technical issues with the FAFSA, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) 1-(800)-433-3243. Agents are available and the number is now accepting calls.

FAFSA submission issues. If you are still having FAFSA submission issues, please let our office know by emailing finaid@unr.edu with a brief description of the issues you are experiencing.

For a list of active/resolved FAFSA issues and potential workarounds, please .

Contributors without a Social Security Number (SSN). Contributors without a SSN should be able to create an FSAID. Contributors without an SSN will be asked to go through an identity verification process during the FSAID creation process. The Identity verification process can take 10-14 days.

Calculation issues. On Tuesday, January 30, the Department of Education announced an error was made in the underlying calculations that affect the new Student Aid Index (SAI), which determines a student’s aid eligibility. The Department of Education will be correcting the error in the need formula to account for inflation, potentially increasing financial aid eligibility by almost 1.8 million overall for students. The 3.1+ million students who already completed the FAFSA, and those who plan to, will automatically have their Student Aid Index (SAI) recalculated. Applicants will not be able to make corrections to their FAFSA until applications have been processed and the Department of Education can transmit FAFSA data.

Expected FAFSA processing dates. Due to the required updates, the Department of Education has announced FAFSA data is not expected to be processed and sent to institutions, state agencies, and designated scholarship organizations until the first half of March. Financial Aid offices across the country cannot begin creating financial aid offers for students until a completed FAFSA is received from the Department of Education.

Key program changes

Key changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Most of the changes related to FAFSA simplification will begin with the 2024-2025 application. Due to the changes, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available as of the traditional October 1 date. The 2024-2025 FAFSA form will be available for students and parents by Dec. 31, 2023.
  • The number of questions will be reduced, and the application will maximize the use of previously collected data.
  • A student is referred to as the “applicant” and anyone else asked to provide information on the aid application—student’s spouse, student’s parent(s) and/or stepparents(s)—is called a “contributor” to the application.
  • Everyone contributing to the FAFSA form online must have their own studentaid.gov account.
  • Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID.
  • All students and contributors must provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred directly into the FAFSA form from the IRS via direct data exchange.
  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • The FAFSA Simplification Act expands the Federal Pell Grant to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
  • Schools will use the SAI to determine eligibility for federal financial aid programs. The Ƶ will also use the SAI to determine financial need for need-based institutional and state funding.
  • SAI will no longer take the number of students in college into consideration. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.

Terminology changes

  • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the applicants FAFSA – student spouse, parent(s), and stepparent(s) for example. 
  • Consent: Applicants and contributors will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return. 
  • SAI: Student Index Aid (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 
  • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS. 
  • DDX: Direct Data Exchange

FAFSA Simplification FAQs

View these common questions regarding the FAFSA Simplification Act.