Changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are on the horizon for the 2024-2025 school year. The FAFSA Simplification Act significantly changes the processes and systems used to determine federal student aid eligibility. Gonzaga's Student Financial Services Office will update this webpage with the most current information, enabling us to promptly share the latest updates with our students, families, and campus community.
Latest update: 8/24/2023
Introduction to FAFSA Simplification
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a federal form you use to apply for financial aid. At Gonzaga, we use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for most students for federal, state, and Gonzaga-based financial aid.
In late 2020, Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act to overhaul and modernize federal student aid, including major changes to the FAFSA application to make it easier for students and families to complete.
Timeline for 2024-2025 FAFSA completion
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA is set to be accessible in December, a departure from the usual October 1st release date. We're eagerly awaiting an official announcement from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) regarding the specific launch date for the upcoming financial aid application cycle. We will update this bullet point when we know the actual date that the FAFSA form will be available. Please continue to review this webpage and monitor the Morning Mail email posts for further guidance and updated information.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is replaced with Student Aid Index (SAI)
- The term for the output of the FAFSA is a measure of a family's ability to pay for college, and it is currently known as EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Starting with the 2024-2025 school year, this term is changing to SAI (Student Aid Index). Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college and experience changes in the methodology used to determine aid.
- You can also expect changes in how a student's family size is determined, aligning more with what was reported on the student or parents' tax returns.
Streamlining the FAFSA Form
- ED is required to streamline the FAFSA where possible, including directly transferring income information from the IRS to calculate Pell eligibility and the SAI. The new FAFSA will have a more user-friendly interface, fewer questions, and an easier way to transfer income from the IRS.
Expanding Access to Pell Grants
- Starting with the 2024-2025 school year, the FAFSA Simplification Act is expected to expand access to the Federal Pell Grant and link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
- Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA. A contributor could be the student, the student's spouse, parent, or stepparents, depending on your dependency status and family situation.
- Consent: each contributor will need to provide their consent (permission) to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being used on the FAFSA.
- Federal Tax Information (FTI): FTI is federal tax information that is transferred directly from the IRS to populate questions on the FAFSA application.
Impact on Aid Eligibility
While the full impacts of financial aid eligibility cannot be known right now, the Financial Aid Office has been closely following the changes and developments to help you know what to expect.
Federal and State Financial Aid
The FAFSA Simplification Act is expected to expand access to the Federal Pell Grant. Gonzaga's Financial Aid Office anticipates that more students will be eligible for Pell and other need-based funds, including Federal Subsidized Loans and Federal and State need-based work opportunities.
Gonzaga's Financial Aid Office does not expect the Washington College Grant (WCG) eligibility and College Bound to be greatly impacted. WCG eligibility is determined by income and family size, therefore, minimally affected by the changes in the federal methodology used to measure a family's ability to pay for school.
Institutional (Gonzaga-based) Aid
With the Gonzaga Guarantee we promise you'll receive steady annual institutional aid while an undergraduate student. Your institutional aid is unlikely to change as long as you're enrolled full-time. The Gonzaga Guarantee covers a wide spectrum of institutional aid, including popular options like the Gonzaga Grant, Trustee, Regent, Dean's, Dussault, Achievement, Aloysius, and many other academic scholarships.
Law, Doctoral, and Master's-Level Student Financial Aid
Law, Doctoral, and Master's-level students do not qualify for need-based financial aid at Gonzaga, and therefore, they likely will not be impacted by changes outlined here.
How You Can Prepare
Mark your calendar for December 2023 - we'll update this page and directly contact students and parents once we know the official date the 2023-2024 FAFSA is available.
What is the FAFSA Simplification Act Federal Student Aid
Better FAFSA FAQs National College Attainment Network (NCAN)