FAFSA Simplification

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-25 aid year. Here are a few things we want you to know.

Why is the FAFSA changing?

From the U.S. Department of Education: "On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act…this law includes the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.” 

What is changing with the FAFSA?

  • New open date: normally, the FAFSA becomes available October 1 each year, but the 2024-25 FAFSA became available on December 31, 2023. Please go to www.fafsa.gov to complete. VSU’s priority deadline is March 31, 2024.
  • “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC) is changing to “Student Aid Index” (SAI): this 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.
  • Streamlined application: you’ll notice fewer questions and a new Direct Data Exchange (DDX) secure system that makes it easier to transfer Federal Tax Information (FTI) directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Contributor role and responsibilities: everyone providing information on a student’s FAFSA is called a “contributor,” and they will need to create their own FSA ID and consent to having their information included for their section of the application. (No consent = no financial aid.)
  • 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.

As more news about the updated FAFSA becomes available, The Financial Aid Office will update this page so that VSU students, families, and our campus community remain ready for the new process.


Visit the Federal Student Aid Website and watch the video for more information.