FAFSA Submission and Correction/Updates

Updating or Correcting Your 2024-25 FAFSA

The Department of Education has issued guidance regarding correcting or updating your 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Most of the questions on the FAFSA® want to know your situation as of the day you sign the application, but there are instances in which you’ll want to change the information you initially reported. Navigation to the left on the correction page is helpful. 

FAFSA Submission Update: by July 1 for all first time enrolling students

While many students and families have been able to successfully complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA, others have not, due to known FAFSA completion challenges. Out of awareness and concern for these students and families, Amherst College is delaying our submission requirement for the FAFSA to July 1 for all first time enrolling students.

All aid applicants should: 

FAFSA Simplification - Changes and Benefits to Families

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the ONLY form used to determine eligibility for all federal student aid. The FAFSA Simplification Act became law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

The FAFSA Simplification Act is an initiative by the United States Department of Education to make applying for federal student aid easier for students. It is the first major redesign of the FAFSA process in over 40 years and presents a significant overhaul of federal student aid. The Act impacts the 2024-25 FAFSA form, federal need analysis, and requires modification of policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs. 

The 2024-25 FAFSA is now available, but there is no rush to complete it immediately. We recommend completing the FAFSA by February 15, 2014.  

FAFSA Simplification

Benefits to Families:
  • Reduces barriers for student populations
  • Expands eligibility for federal student aid, including the Federal Pell Grant
  • Enhanced data sharing with IRS 
  • Available in the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States
  • Streamlined, better user experience for the FAFSA form and process by reducing the number of questions 

FAFSA Changes for 2024-25

  • Anyone asked to provide information on the FAFSA - student, spouse, student’s parent(s) and/or stepparents(s) - is called a contributor to the application.
  • The FSA ID utilizes two-step verification. All FAFSA contributors must establish or already have  an FSA ID to log into the online form. There is a new process to get an FSA ID for parents and spouses without a Social Security number.
  • The number of questions will be reduced and the application will maximize the use of previous FAFSA data. 
  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Starting with the 2024–25 award year, students and families will see a different federal calculation of their ability to pay for college. 
  • In the case of divorced/separated biological or adoptive parents, the Parent of Record for the FAFSA will be the parent(s) who provided more financial support during the previous 12 months. If the Parent of Record has remarried, the step-parent information is required on the FAFSA.
  • Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents (contributors) will need to provide their consent to the FUTURE Act Direct Data Exchange (FADDX) of federal tax information (FTI). The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act (FUTURE Act) amended the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to mandate access to tax information of contributors. Contributors who do not file federal taxes still need to provide consent.
  • The FUTURE Act also made providing consent for the exchange of FTI a requirement for receiving federal student aid. If a required contributor doesn't provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred into your 2024–25 FAFSA form, you won’t be eligible for federal student aid—even if they manually enter tax information into the FAFSA form.
  • If any contributor to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the FAFSA will still be allowed, but a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.
  • With consent to exchange FTI, the Direct Data Exchange with the IRS will replace what is currently known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
  • The Cost of Attendance (COA) will be the starting point for calculating the SAI. COA includes direct costs (tuition, fees, housing and meals charges for which the College bills you directly) and estimated indirect costs (books, course materials, supplies and equipment, personal expenses, and transportation).) to fund an academic year’s educational expenses.
  • Foster, homeless, and unaccompanied youth—as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information—will be able to complete the form with a provisional independent student determination and receive a calculated SAI.­
  • Students will be able to list up to 20 schools on their online FAFSA.
  • Applicants will be asked to report their sex, race, and ethnicity on the FAFSA, but students will be offered a choice of “Prefer Not to Answer.” Schools and state agencies won’t see responses to these questions.

    More details can be found in the FAQ section of FAFSA Simplification.