Federal Student Aid : FAFSA Simplification

FAFSA Simplification and Changes 2024-2025

The FAFSA Simplification 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 FAFSA will be streamlined with fewer questions and new terminology will be added. A Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and expands Pell Grant eligibility and a reduction in verification. Tax information will populate the FAFSA with a Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) of federal tax information (FTI) and replaces the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The FSA ID will still be used to electronically sign a completed FAFSA. The 2024-25 FAFSA will be available in December 2023 (for this year only). 

What Can You Do Now?
Complete the CSS Profile Application for 2024-25 and upload your 2022 tax forms to IDOC

2024-25 document details and other application requirements (described below) will be available on the Financial Aid Portal in January.

Renewing Financial Aid

2024-2025 Renewal of Financial Aid

Students wishing to apply for financial aid for the 2024-25 academic year may do so regardless of whether a student is currently receiving assistance from the college. Tax and W-2 information for 2022 should also be submitted via IDOC.

The 2024-25 application for renewal of financial aid due date is March 1, 2024.

 All applications for aid must be received by the end of registration for the spring semester.

Professional Judgment

Financial aid professionals have flexibility in adjusting a student's eligibility for financial aid due to special or unusual circumstances. 

Special circumstances include a loss of income, change in family size or additional expenses due to a student's disability. 

Unusual circumstances most often require an adjustment to a student's dependency status and the information they provide on their FAFSA form based on a unique situation, such as being homeless or foster youth.

To apply for assistance from Amherst College for 2024-2025, students are expected to submit the following materials:

Amherst Application for Renewal of Financial Aid

Complete and submit the Amherst Application for Renewal of Financial Aid on-line. Please proceed to Financial Aid Portal, and from the menu, select Apply On-Line to complete the renewal application. The same form is used by first-time applicants who will be in the upper three classes who are not currently receiving financial aid.

CSS/Financial Aid Profile for 2024-2025

Complete the CSS Profile with the College Scholarship Service (CSS) of The College Board and designate Amherst College to receive information. Amherst’s CSS code number is 3003.

Information about CSS Profile fee waivers can be found here.

If your parents are separated or divorced, both of the student's biological/adoptive parent(s) will complete their own CSS Profile. Each parent will access the CSS Profile with different log-in credentials. Parent 2 (formerly non-custodial parent) will need to create a College Board account before providing their information. It's highly recommended that the student and Parent of Financial Record (Parent 1) start the CSS Profile first, as Parent 2 can't submit information until the student selects a school that requires the submission of Parent 2 information.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2024-25

If you are a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States, its territories, or associated states (Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau), you must complete the FAFSA to be considered for federal financial aid. The FAFSA may be completed on-line. After you submit the FAFSA, the federal government will send you a FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) - formerly the  Student Aid Report (SAR) -  with information about your eligibility for federal aid and a calculation of the Student Aid Index (SAI) - formerly the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Amherst’s FAFSA code number is 002115. All federal aid eligibility is determined by the results of your FAFSA.

NOTE: The 2024-25 FAFSA will not be available until late December 2023. Complete the FAFSA by February 1, 2024. 

Students should complete the Profile and submit 2022 tax information to IDOC by March 1, 2024 for a tentative aid determination to be finalized with the receipt of the 2024-25 FAFSA.

Federal FSA ID

You and all contributors to your FAFSA must use an FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically. Each person must have a separate FSA ID. You may create an FSA ID on-line. You may also use your FSA ID to access federal financial aid records, to make revisions or corrections to the FAFSA, and to view and sign loan records if you borrow a federal student loan.

Two-step verification, a form of multi-factor authentication (MFA), helps protect your StudentAid.gov account. Each time you log in, you’ll be asked to provide a one-time code that is delivered to you via email, text message, or an authenticator app

More information regarding the FSA ID can be found in the FSA ID FAQ section of our website. 

IRS Information to the FAFSA via Direct Data Exchange (DDE)

Direct Data Exchange is required to bring information from your income tax return directly from the Internal Revenue Service to the FAFSA.

Starting FAFSA 2024-25, DRT will no longer exist. After the student, spouse, and/or parent provides consent to the Direct Data Exchange (FADDX), the Federal Tax Information (FTI) will be linked to the application contributor. Federal Student Aid (FSA) will now directly transfer Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS into the FAFSA form as long as the user has provided FSA with consent to do so.

All users identified as required contributors on the FAFSA form will be prompted to provide consent for the IRS to use their Federal Tax Information (FTI). This consent is required to retrieve FTI from the IRS to calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI) and the student’s federal aid eligibility. If any required contributor to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI), which replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will not be calculated.

More details on consent, financial data and taxes can be found on our Office of Financial Aid website. 

Canadian and other international students do not complete the FAFSA.

Income Documentation for 2022

Students Who Are Citizens, Permanent Residents, or Reside in the United States

Submit income documentation through The College Board’s Institutional Documentation (IDOC) service. After you submit the CSS Profile, you will receive information from the College Board on behalf of Amherst College about submitting 2022 tax documents through the IDOC service.

Students Residing in the United States or Its Territories

Submit copies of all 2022 federal personal, corporate, and partnership tax returns, W-2 and 1099 forms, and federal verification forms associated with applying for financial aid. Please do not submit state tax returns.

Divorced or Separated Parents 

If your parents are separated or divorced, both of the student's biological/adoptive parent(s) will complete their own CSS Profile. Each parent will access the CSS Profile with different log-in credentials. The secondary (non-custodial) parent will need to create a College Board account before providing their information. It's highly recommended that the student and primary parent start the CSS Profile first, as the other parent can't submit information until the student selects a school that requires the submission of secondary parent information.

The documents submitted through IDOC may include:

  • A signed and dated copy of all pages of your (student) 2022 income tax return (IRS Form 1040). You should also submit a copy of your 2022 W-2 form(s) (or other wage statements), as appropriate, regardless of whether you filed or did not file an income tax return. Copies of Form(s) 1099 should also be submitted. 
  • A signed and dated copy of all pages of your parents’ 2022 income tax return(s) (IRS Form 1040), if you are dependent on your parents. Include a copy of your parents’ 2022 W-2 form(s) (or other wage statements), regardless of whether an income tax return was or was not filed. Copies of 1099 Form(s) should also be submitted. 
  • If your parents own an interest in a business corporation, submit a copy of the 2022 corporate return (IRS Form 1120, 1120A, 1120-S, and/or Schedule K-1). If your parents own an interest in a partnership, submit a copy of the 2022 partnership return and/or a copy of the statement of partner’s share of income (IRS Form 1065 and/or Schedule K-1). 
  • If you or your parents did not and will not file a 2022 income tax return, submit the  Non-Tax Filer Statement. Copies of any earnings statements (such as W-2 or 1099 forms) should still be submitted to IDOC.

U.S. Department of Education rules stipulate that you cannot receive federal student financial aid unless proper tax forms have been filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Because of the parity of treatment of all aid applicants, these rules also apply to institutional aid as well.  For further information, see “Tax Filing Requirements and Proper Filing Status” on our website, under “Forms & Helpful Links."

Students Residing in Canada

Submit signed and dated copies of your and, if you are a dependent student, your parents’ 2022 Canadian federal income tax return(s), including T-4 forms directly to the Office of Financial Aid. If no return will be filed, submit the appropriate Non-Tax Filer Statement. Copies of any earnings statements (T-4 forms) should be included with the statement. 

If you or your parents own an interest in a business or farm, submit copies of appropriate income tax returns for each business or farm. 

International Students Residing Outside of the United States, Its Territories, or Canada.

International renewal applicants should upload original 2022 documentation of income and taxes paid/withheld for your parents, and employer-provided documentation of 2022 income and benefits to the Financial Aid Portal. Applicants from China should submit a Salary Certificate issued by the parents’ employer. Student income/tax documentation should be scanned and emailed or faxed (more secure) to the office.  

All electronic documentation must be sent in .pdf format (images are not acceptable). All documentation should be in original foreign currency and your home language. All documentation and notations must be translated into English (it does not need to be a paid translation service; your own translation is sufficient).

Digital signatures are not accepted; original signatures are required on all forms.

If you or your parents own an interest in a business or farm, complete and submit an “International Business/Farm Supplement” for 2024-25 for each business or farm.  Also submit copies of the most recent business income tax returns, if applicable, or other documentation of business or farm income and expenses and business or farm value and indebtedness.

State Scholarship or Grant Application

If appropriate, aid applicants who are residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont may be eligible for state scholarships or grants and are required to apply for them. In some instances, filing a FAFSA is all that is necessary to apply for a state scholarship or grant. Applicants should observe the specific application procedures and deadlines established by the various state agencies.

“Outside” Scholarships or Tuition Benefits

Amherst allows outside scholarships and employer benefits to replace self-help (work), rather than scholarship, in a financial aid award. Outside scholarships, grants, or employer benefits in excess of self-help/work reduce Amherst College Scholarship, but contact our office if your outside scholarship exceeds the work portion of your financial aid award. We can offer you suggestions to work with your scholarship sponsor to maximize the benefit of your outside scholarship. An outside scholarship or employer benefit cannot be used to replace the expected family contribution. Aid applicants who receive outside scholarships or tuition benefits are reminded that the Office of Financial Aid must be informed of any such awards, regardless of amount or source.

IF YOU WILL BE SEEKING ONLY U.S. FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID, such as a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS (parent) Loan, please submit the following:

  • Free Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2024-25, which may be completed on-line. Amherst’s FAFSA code number is 002115. The 2024-25 FAFSA will be available in December 2023 (this year only).

If you have questions about financial aid at Amherst or the procedure for applying, please contact the Office of Financial Aid, B-5 Converse Hall at (413) 542-2296 by phone from off-campus, or extension 2781 from an on campus phone.

This page was last updated on October 26, 2023.