Free Application for Federal Student Aid Updates


FAFSA Processing Update and 2024-25 Financial Aid Awards

The U.S. Department of Education has announced they will reprocess 2024-25 FAFSA records to address three known issues with the information used to calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is the driver for determining financial need and eligibility for federal, state, and institutional grants, federal work-study, and federal student loans. It is crucial that the SAI is accurate to ensure students receive the maximum financial aid possible. They are currently targeting to reprocess these records and begin sending them to schools by May 1.

Once FAFSA results are received, fall 2024 first-year students will be awarded aid and offers will be mailed, followed immediately by financial aid offers to continuing students, delivered to their university emails in May.

It is likely that continuing students will leave for summer break prior to receiving their financial aid offer. Students are encouraged to do the following to ensure that they secure financial aid for fall 2024:

  • If you have not done so, please complete your FAFSA today at
  • We have eliminated our FAFSA priority filing deadline.
  • The Department has stated their goal is to make corrections broadly available the week of April 15. If you need to correct your FAFSA, please be prepared to make those corrections as soon as possible when the functionality becomes available.
  • Check your university email frequently during the summer to identify requests for additional documentation or information needed to complete your awards.
  • If you plan to borrow student loans, please be prepared to act quickly to accept your loans, and complete any necessary steps, when notified of awards.
  • Register for fall classes as soon as possible, so financial aid processed over the summer is accurate based on your courses.

Please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid for assistance any time Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the summer). No appointment is needed.

2024-2025 FAFSA is now available

Start your application at

Once FAFSA results are received by UA, determination of eligibility for financial assistance will begin. We estimate that award offers will be sent to new freshmen in April and to continuing students in May.

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

What's changing with the FAFSA?

There are a number of benefits of the FAFSA simplification act, including a more streamlined application process and a better user experience for the FAFSA, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds).

Some fundamental changes include, but are not limited to:

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46, and because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won't even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.

Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons on the FAFSA must provide consent for the Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most, that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.

A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information. Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID (if they don't already have one) to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.

A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

Families making less than 175% and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI.

Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.


Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid for help! We are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and take walk-in visitors throughout the day. No appointment is needed. We are in Simmons Hall, Room 204.

How can you prepare?

Set up your FSA ID now in preparation for the FAFSA.
Understand the new Federal need formula.  Students and families may see a different measure of their calculated ability to pay for college, based on the change in the methodology used to determine Federal need and Pell Grant eligibility. The new need analysis formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, allows a minimum SAI of -1500, and implements separate eligibility criteria for Federal Pell Grants. 
Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid for help!  We are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and take walk-in visitors throughout the day.  No appointment is needed.  We are in Simmons Hall, Room 204.