Major changes are coming to the FAFSA for this upcoming year! The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents one of the biggest changes to federal student aid in over 40 years.  Among other things it has required a complete rewrite of the FAFSA application and processing system.

The 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until late December 2023. This late date is a one year anomaly as the Department of Education completes the new, simplified FAFSA.  In 2025-26 the FAFSA will go back to being available starting October 1. The Department of Education has told universities that we will not receive the FAFSA applications you complete until late January 2024.  This delayed timeline will be challenging for you and for us.  We will do our best to communicate with you as we get updated information.  Please file your FAFSA as soon as possible in late December 2023.  We will notify you as soon as we receive your FAFSA application in late January 2024.

There are a number of updates that should make the FAFSA a more streamlined and user-friendly experience, as well as several changes to how a student/family's financial "need" is calculated. Some highlights are:

  • The look and flow of the FAFSA will be updated, and it will be available in additional commonly spoken languages in the U.S.
  • Applicants and required contributors will be required to consent to the IRS Direct Data Exchange, allowing the FAFSA to access their tax information (if available) directly from the IRS.
  • The maximum number of questions will be reduced from 100+ down to less than 50 due to the IRS data exchange and other simplifications. Some students will have even less questions, depending on their circumstances.
  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Students may now list up to 20 colleges and universities on their FAFSA.
  • Some students will be automatically awarded the Federal Pell Grant if their family meets certain income criteria in relation to the federal poverty level. For example, a student could qualify for a maximum Pell Grant if their family's AGI is within 175% (or 225% for single parent households) of the federal poverty level for their household size .
  • The number of household members in college will no longer impact the SAI calculation.
  • For dependent students with divorced/separated parents, the parent reported on the FAFSA will now be whichever parent provided the most financial support over the past year (or the most recent year financial support was provided).
  • Students with unusual circumstances, such as unaccompanied homeless youth, may be able to submit the FAFSA without parental information as a provisional independent student. Schools must still document if the student's situation qualifies.
  • Applicants and contributors must report the value of small businesses and family farms as assets when required.

While there are many changes coming, there are still many things that will remain the same or similar to before, such as:

  • The OSU priority FAFSA submission deadline is still the last day of February, which is February 29th, 2024 for 24-25 school year.
  • The general types of aid and aid limits will be the same.
  • The FAFSA will still need to be completed each year to be awarded and receive aid.
  • The FAFSA will still use income and tax information from the "prior-prior year," meaning you will report 2022 information on the 24-25 FAFSA.

Federal Student Aid has a brief overview of FAFSA Simplification changes at Further information should be posted on as the 2024-25 FAFSA is closer to release.

We will also use this webpage for any other major updates as we learn about them.