Skip to main content

At Earn Up, we understand the importance of accessible and streamlined processes for students seeking financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step in securing financial support for an education. Recently, there have been some changes to 2024-25 FAFSA that are designed to simplify and improve the application experience, but it is important to know your way around as you prepare to submit your paperwork.

Spousal and Stepparent Involvement – one notable change is the inclusion of spouses or stepparents as potential contributors to your FAFSA. This adjustment recognizes the diverse family structures that students come from. This means your spouse or stepparent may now play a role in contributing to your educational funding.

Streamlined Data Transfer From The IRS – to expedite the application process, FAFSA now allows for the direct transfer of federal tax information from the IRS into the form. This not only minimizes errors in data entry, but also ensures that the most up-to-date financial information is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.

Consent and Approval For Tax Information Transfer – with the integration of direct data transfer, there is a new requirement for consent and approval. Applicants must now explicitly give consent for the transfer of federal tax information to be eligible for federal student aid. This extra layer of security ensures that your financial data is handled responsibly and with your explicit permission.

Individual Accounts for All – one of the more significant changes is the requirement for every individual involved in the application process to have their own account. This includes the student as well as any contributors, such as parents or stepparents. This adjustment means that individuals without a social security number can still create an account. To be eligible for federal student aid, individuals must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizen. This change aims to enhance security and streamline communication throughout the application process, ensuring that everyone involved is informed and engaged.

Real-Time Progress Monitoring – once you’ve initiated your FAFSA application, you can now track the status and progress of contributors directly through your account. This real-time monitoring feature provides transparency and allows for better coordination among contributors, making the application process more collaborative and efficient.

Expanded Information Sharing – in a move to simplify the college application process, FAFSA now allows you to send your financial information to up to 20 colleges, career schools, or trade schools, saving time and effort in duplicating information across various applications.

The recent changes to the FAFSA reflect a commitment to making the financial aid application process more user-friendly, efficient, and reflective of the diverse circumstances of today’s students. These updates will contribute to a smoother experience for students and their families as they seek the financial support necessary to pursue higher education as these changes become normalized through their use. For more information on FASFA and financial aid as a whole, please visit Earn Up’s financial aid page to learn more, including a video specific to the changes. If you have started the FAFSA process or have specific questions, the Federal Student Aid Information Center helps students complete the FAFSA and provides the public with free information about their programs. Call the expert hotline at 1-800-4-FED-AID to speak to a specialist about the programs. Additional contact options include a live chat and email.