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Financial Aid and Scholarships

FAFSA Changes

Have questions about the FAFSA? We're here to help! The 2024-2025 FAFSA is now open and this page is here to guide you through the process and explain any changes to this year's FAFSA.


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. 


*Due to a later opening of the 2024-25 FAFSA by the federal Department of Education, the awarding of institutional scholarships that require the FAFSA will be delayed. 


What are the key changes to the FAFSA?

2024-2025 FAFSA open date

Although the opening was delayed a bit, the 2024-2025 FAFSA is now availableUNF's FAFSA school code is 009841.

The FSA ID is more important than ever

To start the FAFSA, an FSA ID is required. Students and parents must have an FSA ID to fill out the form, including parents without a Social Security number.

The term “EFC” (expected family contribution) is changing

With the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI) – this is a new need analysis formula that we will use when awarding need-based grants and scholarships.

Streamlined application

Questions are being removed, added, and rearranged. You’ll notice fewer overall questions when completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA and an easier way to transfer tax information directly from the IRS.

The parent included on the FAFSA could change

For dependent students with separated or divorced parents, the parent providing the most financial support must be included on the new FAFSA. For many students, this will align with the previous requirement of including the custodial parent – the parent living with the student.

New terminology

You’ll notice a few new terms like contributor (anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA, a parent or student spouse for example) and consent (each contributor will need to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA).

What can you do to prepare?

Create your FAFSA account.
Make sure to create your account — and remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form.

Determine whose information you will need.

 Find out if your parent(s) or spouse will need to be contributors (contribute their information on your FAFSA form).


 Make sure each "contributor" creates an account.

If your parent(s) or spouse will need to contribute to your form, make sure each contributor creates their own account.

Even if a contributor doesn’t have a Social Security number, they will be able to create an account.

Gather documents and required information. 

Watch the “Preparing for the FAFSA Form” playlist to understand what information and documents you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA form. UNF's FAFSA school code is 009841.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI)
    The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI refers to the calculation of a student’s approximate financial resources for their college education.
  • FAFSA Submission Summary
    The Student Aid Report, a copy of the student’s application data received once they submit their FAFSA, will now be referred to as the FAFSA Submission Summary and provides a summary of the student’s FAFSA information.
  • Family Size
    Household Size will now be called Family Size and is based on the number of dependents (or exemptions) reported on the parent’s or independent student’s tax return. If the number of dependents has changed between the tax return filing date and FAFSA submission date, applicants will have the option to manually update their family size.
  • FUTURE Act Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX)
    Where the IRS DRT was an optional tool to transfer tax information into the 2023-2024 FAFSA, the FA-DDX will now be the only system which transfers Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS into the 2024-2025 FAFSA; using the DDX will be a requirement – not an option – that also needs the contributor’s consent.
  • Contributor
    This refers to any individual required to provide consent, approval, information and signature on the FAFSA form, which may include: the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adoptive parent and/or the parent’s spouse (stepparent). If a contributor does not give consent for the FAFSA to use their FTI, the applying student will not be eligible for financial aid.
  • Federal Tax Information (FTI) & FAFSA FTI Approval
    FTI will include certain information reported on the applicant’s tax return, received directly from the IRS via the FA-DDX. This information will consider the taxpayer’s name, SSN, income information, dependent or exemption information and tax-filing statuses. All contributors must provide consent for the FAFSA to retrieve their FTI each year. Important: Even those who did not file a tax return or filed a foreign equivalent tax return must still provide consent. If a contributor does not give their consent, the applicant will not be eligible for federal student aid.
  • Provisionally Independent Student
    For students who indicate they have unusual circumstances or indicate for the first time that they are unaccompanied and homeless, or at risk of being homeless, the FAFSA Processing System will consider the student to be provisionally independent. This allows the applicant to complete the FAFSA as an independent student, although SAIs will not be official until the selected institution’s Financial Aid Administrator (FAA) makes a final determination.