FAFSA Simplification

The 2024-25 FAFSA is now open

The FAFSA application underwent a complete overhaul to simplify the process for students and parents. 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is now available for students and families to access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students and their families can use the 2024–25 FAFSA form to apply for federal financial aid to attend college between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025.

More information on this announcement and other press releases can be found in the Department of Education Press Release Site.  

Terminology Changes

SAI (Student Aid Index)The calculated result of running the federal methodology formula and used to award federal aid (may be used to calculate Pell Grants in the Min/Max Pell determination is not the best for the student). Forget: EFC (Expected Family Contribution).
ContributorsThe new word that will be used for anyone who is required to provide information on a FAFSA. Forget: Using the word "parent" or "student" to describe whose information you still need to collect.
FADDX (Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange)The new name for bringing over applicant/parent information from the IRS. Forget: IRS DRT.
Family sizeWill be determined by the number of exemptions claimed on federal tax returns from the IRS.. (Note: There will be an option to change that number if it no longer reflects the accurate family size). Forget: Household size
FTI (Federal Tax Information)All FTI transferred will be encrypted to the applicant but made available to the institutions. There are several additional restrictions related to sharing FTI which will require us all to learn more about those. In general, FTI cannot be redisclosed. Forget: Seeing any income information on SARs for most applicants.

You MUST provide Consent

Through the DDX process the IRS shares federal tax information (FTI) with the Department of Education and the colleges listed on the FAFSA to calculate a Student Aid Index. Every contributor on the FAFSA is required to consent to DDX, even if they didn't file taxes, for the student to be eligible for federal financial aid.

The FSA ID is more important than ever

Students and parents must have an FSA ID to complete the form, including parents without a Social Security number.

Student Aid Index will replace EFC

After submitting the FAFSA, students will receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) instead of an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). College financial aid offices, state agencies, and the federal government will use the SAI to determine eligibility for financial aid. A student with an SAI of 0 or below (it can be as low as -1,500) will be eligible for a full federal Pell Grant. Changes to the formula and switch to SAI is expected to increase the number of students eligible for the Pell Grant.

What does this mean for you?

At the University of Michigan-Dearborn, we are committed to providing you with the knowledge to navigate the financial aid process. The changes to the FAFSA application will provide:

  • a more streamlined application process,
  • expanded eligibility for federal financial aid,
  • reduced barriers for certain student populations, and
  • a better user experience for the FAFSA form.

We will host various FAFSA completion events, both virtually and in person. Our plan to extend our outreach to current students, prospective students, and the community alike.

Your FAFSA information will be sent to us in late January, so you will have ample time to fill out the form and do not need to rush to complete the form during the soft launch. Once we receive your FAFSA information, we will provide you with personalized aid information.

Other Resources

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Outside 1600 - Social Sciences Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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