As a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act, Federal Student Aid is updating the FAFSA process to expand access to federal student aid and provide an easier, streamlined FAFSA experience for students and families. The FAFSA is now available on the Federal Student Aid website.

On Jan. 30, 2024, the Department of Education shared that they will delay sharing FAFSA data until March 2024, which means that many universities will be delayed in providing financial aid packages to incoming students causing students to have a reduced amount of time to fully evaluate their colleges before the May 1 deadline.

Additional Information for incoming undergraduate students:

  • Rather than waiting for the FAFSA data to become available, the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) will utilize data available in the CSS Profile to develop financial aid packages.
  • Admitted undergraduate students, who have submitted the CSS Profile, will continue to receive their estimated financial aid package approximately two weeks after receiving their admissions decision, which is our typical window. This allows admitted undergraduate students to have information about the financial support available to them from U-M when evaluating their options.
  • U-M is the only public university in the state of Michigan that uses the CSS Profile, so we may be unique in our ability to provide admitted students with financial aid packages within our typical timeframe.

Additional information for returning undergraduate students:

  • Complete your 2024-2025 FAFSA by May 1. Financial aid offers for the 2024-2025 academic year will be emailed in the summer.

Additional information for graduate and professional students:

  • Admitted graduate and professional degree students should complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA by March 31. Financial aid offers will be emailed once the Office of Financial Aid has received the FAFSA information.
  • Returning graduate and professional degree students should complete the FAFSA by May 1. Financial aid offers for the 2024-2025 academic year will be emailed in the summer.
Key Changes
  • The FAFSA will be available in December 2023 instead of Oct. 1 this year.
  • The FAFSA will be streamlined and more user-friendly with fewer questions.
  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Federal aid eligibility will be extended to more students. 
  • IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) makes entering tax information easier and will be required for students, spouses, and parents to transfer their 2022 tax information or non-filing status.
  • The number of family members in college will no longer factor into the FAFSA calculation.
  • Untaxed items such as payments to tax-deferred retirement or pension plans, veteran’s non-educational benefits, and worker’s compensation will no longer be required.
  • Parent assets will now include net worth of all businesses and net worth of a family farm, if applicable.
  • For divorced or separated parents: The parent who provided the most financial support to the student will need to provide their information. Previously, the parent who the student lived with the most provided their information.
  • Everyone contributing to the FAFSA form online must have their own account on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website. Each contributor, including the student, will access their account with their own FSA ID (account username and password).
Terms to Know
  • Student Aid Index (SAI): Calculated by FAFSA data and will determine student aid eligibility. This replaces the EFC that was used in previous years.
  • Cost of Attendance (COA): COA includes tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies (including course materials and equipment), miscellaneous expenses, and transportation. 
  • Contributor: A parent, step-parent, student, or spouse of the student who is providing information to the FAFSA. 
  • Consent: Required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax data directly to the FAFSA. If any contributor does not provide consent, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid.
  • Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Previously known as IRS Data Retrieval; this tool imports tax data directly from the IRS to your FAFSA.
  • FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): A summary of your completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used in previous years.
Ways to Prepare
  • Apply for your FSA ID. A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is required for all contributors including the student.
  • Determine who your contributors are. The FAFSA will also offer assistance when filing. Students, parents, step-parents, and a student’s spouse may be considered contributors.
  • Gather 2022 Federal Tax Information and W-2s. All contributors will need this information, if applicable.
FAQs

What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?

The FAFSA Simplification Act is a law that represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year, including changes to the FAFSA. Learn more about the law.

Contact us at [email protected] if you have any additional questions. You can also find answers to your questions about the FAFSA in general on the Federal Student Aid website.

When will the 2024-25 FAFSA become available?

The U.S. Department of Education launched the FAFSA on Dec. 31, 2023.

What semesters are covered by my 2024-25 FAFSA?

Fall 2024, winter 2025, and spring/summer 2025

When is the 2024-25 Suggested Filing Date for UM-Ann Arbor?

Dec. 15, 2023. The suggested filing date is not a deadline. It is set to encourage new undergraduate students to complete their aid applications as soon as possible so that we can provide preliminary financial aid information sooner. We know the FAFSA was not available until after this date. The UM-Ann Arbor deadline to apply for aid is March 31, 2024.

When is the 2024-25 final financial aid deadline for UM-Ann Arbor?

March 31, 2024

Is a contributor required to have an FSA ID?

Yes, all contributors must have an FSA ID. 

My parents are divorced or separated. Which parent is a contributor for my FAFSA?

The parent who provides the most financial support to the student should be the contributor on the FAFSA.

Do the invitations to contributors to provide federal tax information and consent expire?

Yes. Invitations to be a contributor will be deleted when they have been inactive for 45 days. Any previously entered information will be deleted and the process will need to start over.

How can I be considered an independent student?

An independent student is one of the following: born before Jan. 1, 2001, married (and not separated), a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, a person with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, a person who is unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

I’m a graduate student, how does this impact me? 

U-M graduate student financial aid processing relies on the FAFSA. Therefore, incoming and current graduate student aid will need to be processed once the federal government provides information. This could result in a delay from March to April in graduate student aid processing. 

I completed my 2024-25 FAFSA but U-M does not show that it has been received. Is there a problem?

Probably not. The U.S. Department of Education has alerted schools that there will be a delay in receiving FAFSA information. U-M may not be able to confirm receipt of your FAFSA until sometime in late March.

I’m a current undergraduate student, when will I receive my financial aid package? 

Current U-M undergraduate students can submit the FAFSA at any time and are encouraged to do so by May 1. We anticipate access to the FAFSA data in enough time to provide financial aid packages for existing students on our regular schedule.