New FAFSA Rules

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was revised to streamline the application process and alter eligibility formulas.


The changes took effect in July for the 2024-25 academic year and include a shift from the Expected Family Contribution to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) and a reduction in the number of application questions from 100 to roughly 40.


Some families could pay more tuition, particularly households earning under $70,000 with multiple children in college, as the sibling discount is removed under the new aid calculation formula.


Financial aid eligibility will change based on the family’s financial circumstances, where they attend college, and how many siblings are also in college.

The SAI will also influence students’ Pell Grant eligibility and the amount of additional institutional aid that schools can provide. Grants do not have to be repaid, unlike loans.

And for divorced families, the parent who needs to complete the FAFSA changes from the custodial parent to the one who provides the most financial support.