FAFSA SIMPLIFICATION - A New FAFSA is Coming for 2024-2025!

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-25 aid year. 

While the new application will be streamlined and easier to complete, it will also bring significant changes to the calculation of federal Pell Grant awards and include changes to some financial aid terminology. As a result, the Federal Student Aid (FSA) will launch the 2024-25 application in late December 2023, causing a delay in its opening. In future years, the FAFSA will return to its opening date of October 1st.

As more news about the updated FAFSA becomes available, SDSU Financial Aid Office will update this page so that students, families, and our campus community remain ready for the new process.

The changes to the FAFSA application will provide:

  • a more streamlined application process,
  • expanded eligibility for federal financial aid,
  • reduced barriers for certain student populations, and
  • a better user experience for the FAFSA form.

Terminology Changes

• SAI (Student Aid Index): The calculated result of running the federal methodology formula and used to award federal aid (may be used to calculate Pell Grants in the Min/Max Pell determination is not the best for the student). Forget: EFC (Expected Family Contribution).

• Contributors: The new word that will be used for anyone who is required to provide information on a FAFSA. A contributor could be the student, the student's spouse, parent, or stepparents, depending on your dependency status and family situation. Forget: Using the word "parent" or "student" to describe whose information you still need to collect.

• Consent: each contributor will need to provide their consent (permission) to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being used on the FAFSA. If any contributor to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.

• FTI (Federal Tax Information): All FTI transferred will be encrypted to the applicant but made available to the institutions. 

• FADDX (Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange): The new name for bringing over applicant/parent information from the IRS. Forget: IRS DRT.

• Family size: Will be determined by the number of exemptions claimed on federal tax returns from the IRS. (Note: There will be an option to change that number if it no longer reflects the accurate family size). Forget: Household size

• FPS (FAFSA Processing System): The new name for the platform processing the forms. CPS (Central Processing System) is being retired.


You MUST provide Consent

Through the DDX process the IRS shares federal tax information (FTI) with the Department of Education and the colleges listed on the FAFSA to calculate a Student Aid Index. Every contributor on the FAFSA is required to consent to DDX, even if they didn't file taxes, for the student to be eligible for federal financial aid.

The FSA ID is more important than ever

Students and parents must have an FSA ID to complete the form, including parents without Social Security number.

Changes can mean delays, so file early

As with any new system, there may be a few bumps in the beginning. Filing early is the best way to have the time you need to get into the new system and submit your FAFSA.

The new simplified FAFSA form will be shorter and require much less effort on your part to fill out. But, if at any point you have questions, visit the CAL Coast Student Financial Center to speak to a counselor.

Check back often for updates 

This is the biggest update to the FAFSA in 40 years! We will provide additional updates here as more information becomes available.