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2024 – 2025 FAFSA UPDATES

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available December 31, 2023. TCNJ’s priority application deadline is March 15, 2024. The State of New Jersey’s FAFSA application deadline is May 15, 2024.

About the changes:

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress 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 is changing on 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:

A reduction in the number of questions on the form:

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. Since the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students will not 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.

Federal tax information automatically populated:

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.

Parents are now Contributors:

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 by the student, and will need to log in to the FAFSA using their own FSA ID. If the Contributor does not have an FSA ID, they can create one at studentaid.gov.

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.

The number of students in college no longer a factor in the eligibility formula:

Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the eligibility calculation, 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 affect federal aid eligibility. The State of NJ will still consider it in their eligibility determinations.

The federal eligibility income guidelines are now public:

In the past, the federal eligibility income guidelines were not shared with families or schools. Now the income guidelines are shared and updated every year. The income guidelines for 2024/2025 are below:

24-25 Pell

Please note that the income guidelines listed above are meant as a guide to assist families on their potential eligibility but other factors such as assets reported on the FAFSA may decrease the income eligibility amounts for the household size listed above.

The maximum Pell grant award for the 2024-2025 academic year is projected to be $7,895 for the year and the minimum Pell grant award at $789.50 for the year.

For divorced or Separated parents, the parent responsible for providing information on the FAFSA has changed:

For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months prior to completing the FAFSA. With the new FAFSA that has changed, now, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student in the previous 12 months prior to completing the FAFSA. If both parents provided equal support then the parent with the higher income must provide their information on the FAFSA.

Family farms and small business must be reported as assets:

When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.

Expected Family Contribution” (EFC) is changing to “Student Aid Index” (SAI):

The SAI is a number that determines each student’s eligibility for certain types of federal student aid and will be used for awarding need-based grants, loans, and other aid types.

Incomplete forms expire after 45 days:

Any FAFSA that is left incomplete will expire after 45 days, which means the form will have to be restarted and all contributors must redo their sections. Reminder emails will be sent to contributors every seven days.

Contact

Office of Financial Aid
Green Hall, Room 101
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

osfa@tcnj.edu
Tel. 609.771.2211
Fax. 609.637.5154

Office Hours: 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Monday through Friday

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