FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This Act represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the information requested on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Form, financial aid need analysis calculations, and other policies and procedures for schools to continue to participate in Title IV Federal financial aid.

Carroll University will continue to monitor the impacts to students and update this website as more information becomes available.

Key changes will have large impacts on both schools and students. Below outlines some of the major change’s students may see.

2024-25 FAFSA Application Release

The U.S. Department of Education has begun to process FAFSAs for the 2024/25 school year, and they will be sending them to schools in smaller batches throughout the next month. The U.S. Department of Education is continuing to work on providing updates to students, families and schools. Carroll will continue to monitor the status and update this website as more information is provided. As Carroll continues to work on getting our student information systems up to date to process student FAFSAs, here are some key things that students can do to review their information:

  • Students can review their 2024-25 FAFSA application status through studentaid.gov
  • Students will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary after their application has been processed. Students may immediately use the Submission Summary to review their form answers and understand any actions needed to complete their application.
  • The U.S. Department of Education will follow up in the coming weeks with an email notifying the student that their application has been processed and their information has been sent to the schools listed on the FAFSA.
  • Students who need to make corrections to their FAFSA, can do so later in the coming weeks (March or April).

FAFSA Application Changes

There are several key changes to the FAFSA application listed below:
  • The number of questions has decreased from 100 to 50.
  • Applicants will be asked to report their sex, race, and ethnicity on the FAFSA itself, but students will be offered a choice of “Prefer Not to Answer”. Schools and states won’t see responses to these questions on the FAFSA.
  • Students can now list up to 20 schools on the FAFSA.
  • FSA ID changes:
    • Will use two-factor authentication for security
    • For parents who are married filing jointly- only one FSA ID is required
    • For parents who are unmarried living together- must have their own FSA ID
    • Parents without a Social Security Number can now apply for an FSA ID
  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is renamed to Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI).
  • The parent reported on the FAFSA will no longer be the parent whom a student has lived with the most in the past year but rather the parent whom provided the most financial support.
  • Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents will now need to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility.
    • Consent will allow the IRS to share FTI.
    • If any party does not provide consent, submission will be allowed; however, the FAFSA will not be able to calculate a student’s Student Aid Index.
  • Selective Service registration will be removed from the FAFSA.
  • There are expanded definitions on the requirements to report net worth of businesses and family farms.

FAFSA Application Process for 2024-25

There are several key changes to the FAFSA application listed below:
  • Start with applying for an FSA ID. If you don't already have an FSA ID, all students and contributors must register for an FSA ID to complete and sign the online 2024-2025 FAFSA.
  • Who contributes and signs the FAFSA? Anyone who is required to provide information, a signature, and consent to have their federal tax information (FTI) transferred directly into the FAFSA. This may include the student’s biological or adoptive parents, a step-parent, or a student’s spouse. Contributors will each log in to the FAFSA separately with their own FSA ID account. Then, they will complete their own section and answer questions that only they can view. All contributors must provide their financial information and will be required to sign the FAFSA.
  • Complete and sign the FAFSA. https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for- aid/fafsa
  • Providing consent to transfer tax information. In order to be eligible for federal student aid, students and contributors must provide consent to have their FTI transferred directly into the FAFSA from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This applies to contributors who didn’t file 2022 taxes, those who don’t have a Social Security Number, or who filed taxes outside the U.S.
  • Follow this link to watch a series of videos to help with the FAFSA filing process: 2024-25 FAFSA Videos

Key Eligibility Changes in How Financial Aid is Calculated

Students may see changes in how financial aid is calculated by either an increase or decrease in their aid. Below outlines some key reasons why students may see these changes in financial aid:

  • To determine aid eligibility, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI). Students with the highest need may see a negative number (up to -1500) as their SAI. The SAI will be used to calculate many forms of federal, state and Carroll financial aid.
  • The simplified calculation and reduced a number of questions are designed to increase the number of Federal Pell grant recipients.
  • SAI will no longer consider the number of students in the household who are in college. 
  • Families who own businesses/small family farms will now have assets included into the SAI calculation.
  • Schools will no longer see the housing status that students report on the FAFSA. This affects our ability to appropriately award students based on the type of housing they have. If your housing status will be different than what it was in the prior school year, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Net Price Calculator

To assist with getting an early estimate of what financial aid may be received, students and families can complete Carroll's 2024-25 Net Price Calculator. This is not a substitute for the 2024-25 FAFSA, however, it will give students an idea of their potential financial aid eligibility at Carroll. The tool can be found here: Incoming First Time Freshmen or Transfer Students.

For more information on the FAFSA Simplification Act, please visit studentaid.gov.

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