FAFSA® Simplification

The Toccoa Falls Waterfall

FAFSA® Simplification

Due to congressional action, there are significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) beginning with the 2024-2025 school year. The TFC Financial Aid Office has compiled this information to provide details about the most relevant changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA®. Information on this webpage is subject to change as new information becomes available.

The 2024-2025 FAFSA® is scheduled to be released by December 31, 2023. A specific date has not been provided yet.

Parent of Record

The criteria for determining which parent should be reported on the FAFSA® has changed for the 2024-2025 school year. While questions on the FAFSA® will determine which parent’s information is required, the Department of Education has released a decision tree that students can review to determine whose information will be requested.

FAFSA® Contributors

The new FAFSA® is student-driven, so that means the student’s answers in the student’s section will determine the other contributor(s). Students will need each contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and email address to invite them to provide their personal and financial information on the relevant sections of the FAFSA®. To invite a contributor who does not have a Social Security Number, the student will instead provide the contributor’s mailing address.

All contributors must have an FSA ID to complete their sections of the student’s FAFSA®. If a contributor has not already created their FSA ID, they can do so by clicking on the link below. A match will be performed with the Social Security Administration once the FSA ID has been created. This match can take up to 3 business days. The FSA ID cannot be used to complete the student’s FAFSA® until this process has been completed.

Who is Considered a Contributor?

A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on an applicant’s FAFSA®. Depending on the student’s specific situation, a contributor could be:

  • The student
  • A biological or adoptive parent
  • The student’s spouse
  • The spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA®

Tax Information

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will be replaced with the Direct Data Exchange (DDX).

  • Each contributor will need to consent to have their Federal Tax Information (FTI) imported into the FTI module. This consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have a Social Security Number, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country.
  • To provide consent, the individual will need to access the FAFSA® with a valid FSA ID.
  • Federal tax filers will have their tax information imported into the FTI module, which will then be sent to the college(s) listed on the FAFSA®.
Siblings in College
The methodology for determining a student’s financial need will no longer account for the number of family members in college; however, this question has not been removed. This determination was made by Congress and can only be changed by Congress. Some families may see a change in their financial need because of this change.
Financial Need Determination
There is a change in the methodology used to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility. A student’s Federal Pell Grant eligibility will be determined by the Student Aid Index (SAI) and the family’s income as it relates to their household size and the federal poverty level.
Other Information Many questions have been removed or reworded. It is important to carefully read each question and to ask for assistance if needed. The TFC Financial Aid Office is available for phone calls and Zoom or in-person meetings. Students and families can see meeting availability and select a time that fits their schedule at TFC Financial Aid