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2024-25 FAFSA and FAFSA Simplification

Clover Park Technical College Student Aid & Scholarships office is committed to providing timely updates and messaging to our community. We will post information to our website and printed materials as we receive them. We appreciate your patience as we work thru the multitude of changes and configuration updates needed to implement the FAFSA simplification process for the 2024-2025 school year.

Update 2/9/24

Update 1/12/24

This page lists all the known issues with the 24/25 FAFSA. https://fsapartners.ed.gov/knowledge-center/topics/fafsa-simplification-information/2024-25-fafsa-issue-alerts

Update 1/5/24

The Department has started the soft launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA form, where the form will be available for periods of time over the coming days while the Department of Education monitor site performance and respond in real time to any potential issues impacting the applicant experience. During the soft launch, the Department of Education will be initiating pauses to the site, during which time the form will not be available while their team makes improvements.

Leading up to and during the soft launch, Department of Education has uncovered some minor issues affecting users at various points in the application process, which is to be expected with the launch of a major new website. They are addressing these issues concurrently and will continue to monitor for additional issues users may encounter while we conduct the soft launch.

Please note that the Department of Education has announced there will be delays in transferring your completed FAFSA application to colleges/universities. After you complete and submit your FAFSA, you should receive an email acknowledgement from Federal Student Aid (this message will be sent to the email address you use for FAFSA). However, Clover Park Technical College’s Student Aid & Scholarships  office will not be able to receive your application, see any of your submitted FAFSA information, or advise on aid eligibility until a later time and will post notices to your CTC link account once your application is received.

What to Expect During the Soft Launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA Form

During the soft launch period, the Department will be monitoring site performance, conducting planned pauses for maintenance, and making updates to improve the user experience for students and families.

Here is what students, families, and schools can expect during the soft launch:

Contributors (the student, parent, student’s spouse, or parent’s spouse), including those without a Social Security number (SSN), will be able to create a StudentAid.gov account to access and complete the online FAFSA form. Contributors who already have a verified account username and password will use their existing credentials to sign in and access the form.

FSA will initiate pauses for site maintenance and to make updates as needed to create a better FAFSA experience for students and families. Users who go on-line during a temporary pause should check back at a later time to complete the form.

Applicants may experience a waiting room feature, which will help control website volumes to ensure optimal performance of the form.

If a student completes their form during the soft launch period, their information will be stored for processing. They do NOT need to return to resubmit their application after the soft launch concludes.

If a student completes their FAFSA form, but a contributor cannot access the site during a period when the site is unavailable, the contributor can return to complete their portion of the form as soon as the site becomes available again. Any data entered in the form is still in the system and is secure.

If FSA initiates site maintenance while a student or contributor is completing an application, their data is securely saved in the system as they progress through the application.

After all sections of the online FAFSA form are completed and submitted, the student will receive a confirmation email noting their submission date, their estimated Student Aid Index (SAI), and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility. However, the student will not receive a FAFSA Submission Summary until FSA processes the FAFSA, beginning in late January.

What This Means for Students and Families

Because full processing of FAFSA forms will not start until late January, students and families will have ample time to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA and do not need to rush to fill out the form immediately when the soft launch period opens.

FSA is updating its messaging to students and their families on StudentAid.gov and in other external communications to explain:

  • Students will receive an email informing them when that information has been sent to the schools.
  • Students will receive an email when their FAFSA Submission Summary is available to review on StudentAid.gov.
  • Students should begin to receive aid information from schools they have been accepted to several weeks after the school received their FAFSA information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

These changes are aimed at making it easier for students and their families to apply for financial aid with a more streamlined application process. 

Key changes
  •  Availability – the FAFSA will be available in late December 2023.
  • More streamlined application process with fewer questions, and an easier way to transfer the tax information directly from IRS.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • New terminology – you will notice new terminology being used in the application and aid eligibility process.
Terminology changes
  • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent(s), and stepparent(s) for example.
  • Consent: each contributor will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return.
  • SAI: Student Index Aid (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS.
Changes to the application
  • The number of questions on the FAFSA will be reduced.
  • For students whose parents are divorced or separated, the Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent who provides you with the most financial support and will no longer be the parent with whom you lived with the most over the past 12 months.
  • Each contributor (student, student spouse, parent(s) and/or stepparent) will have to provide consent. 
  • If any contributor does not provide their consent the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and we will not be able to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
  • 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 can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.
Other changes
  • A direct data share with the IRS will replace what is currently known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
  • Resources for completing the FAFSA form will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States.

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