Graphic that says The Better FAFSAFederal Student Aid is making changes to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) that could significantly affect students who complete the FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year.

Check this page often for updates to what the federal government calls the Better FAFSA.


FAFSA Opening Date

The 2024-25 FAFSA will not open until December 2023.


Student and parents must create a Student Aid Account (FSA ID) – including parents without a Social Security number.

  • If parents file as married filing jointly – only one parent FSA ID is required.
  • If parents are unmarried but live together or are married and filing taxes separately, both parents must have an FSA ID.
  • The Social Security Administration must verify the FSA IDs before a FAFSA can be started (allow 3 days)
  • FSA IDs will use two-factor authentication.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC will become SAI (Student Aid Index).

  • SAI better reflects the FAFSA results, not what a family is expected to pay.
  • The number in college will no longer factor into the SAI calculation.
  • The SAI or federal poverty tables will determine Pell Grant eligibility.

Login and Demographic Information

  • The student must provide the legal name, Social Security number (SSN), birthdate, and email of the parent(s) who will contribute to the FAFSA (if no SSN, a mailing address will be required). The parent(s) will then receive an email to add their information to the existing form.
  • Parents and students must log in separately to complete their respective sections.
  • Students and parents must give consent to retrieve and disclose federal tax information. This includes non-tax filers, those without Social Security numbers, and foreign tax filers.
  • Demographic survey questions will include expanded ethnicity and race options.

 Financial Information

  • If the biological parents are separated or divorced, the FAFSA will require financial information from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student (it used to be the parent the student lived with most in the last 12 months).
  • Parent(s) will now report these items as an asset:
    • Child support received
    • Net worth of a business
    • Net worth of a family farm
  • Parent(s) will no longer report child support paid.
  • The FAFSA will no longer require these untaxed items:
    • Payments to tax-deferred retirement or pensions
    • Veteran’s non-educational benefit
    • Worker’s compensation

Student Aid Report (SAR)

The SAR will become the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS).

College information

Students can now list up to 20 colleges.

Updated March 24, 2023