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Big Changes Coming to FAFSA This Year

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), branded as the "Better FAFSA," is all new for 2024-25 and includes the biggest changes to the form and process in decades. Set for a delayed launch by December 31, 2023, the Better FAFSA will translate to a shorter and simpler form, increased eligibility for Pell Grants, and a reduction in verification, allowing more students access to financial aid they need to attend college.  

The Better FAFSA will increase the number of students with lower family incomes who are eligible to receive a Pell Grant. The US Department of Education estimates that the new FAFSA will increase Pell Grant recipients by nearly 15%. The maximum Pell Grant will automatically become available to students from households earning less than around twice the federal poverty level for their household size.  The maximum Pell Grant award for 2024-25 is $7,395 – these funds do not have to be paid back! 

Just a few additional highlights of the many Better FAFSA changes include:  

  • The number of application questions will be reduced significantly. 
  • Students will be able to list up to 20 colleges on the application (up from 10). 
  • Everyone will need an FSA ID to input information into the new application. 
  • The new application is role-based, and each person will only be able to see questions assigned to them based on their role. 
  • There is a new process for individuals without Social Security numbers to obtain an FSA ID. 
  • New policies will streamline assistance for students in foster care or experiencing homelessness. 

To make the transition to the Better FAFSA as smooth as possible, this is a great time to get informed about all the changes. FSA’s FAFSA Simplification page has a number of informative documents. The National College Attainment Network’s Better FAFSA page is also a one-stop-shop for all things Better FAFSA and is updated regularly.  

The Springfield Foundation scholarship application is set to open December 15, 2023.  Due to the FAFSA changes, the Springfield Foundation has extended the scholarship application deadline to March 15, 2024.