2024-2025 FAFSA Changes

Information on the newly overhauled 2024-2025 FAFSA application.
In this Section

What You Need to Know About the 2024-2025 FAFSA

The 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is NOW Available; Although, we are not expecting FAFSA data until Mid March

The FAFSA Simplification Act is set to introduce sweeping changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) system. With the 2024–2025 award year on the horizon, we're gearing up for a transformative update to the FAFSA, along with changes in the policies and procedures for schools participating in federal financial aid programs. At UW-Stout, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will encompass the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.

These changes affect how financial aid is processed and awarded. Due to the Department of Education finalizing reference tables, receiving the applications to UW-Stout has been delayed. We appreciate your patience and understanding. 

Keep in mind that some students may be selected for a verification process. It requires additional documentation to verify the FAFSA data before a student can be awarded federal aid. If you are picked for verification, you will get a separate email with instructions on how to finish the process. Timely submission of requested documents is encouraged to prevent further delays in the financial aid award offer. 

 

2024-2025 FAFSA Changes for All Applicants

Simplification for a Streamlined Experience
The 2024-2025 FAFSA brings a breath of fresh air with a simpler format; most students will see the question count drop from 108 to just 46. The smart application will navigate your journey, skipping irrelevant sections based on your unique situation. Plus, the process of reporting income and tax details is now more straightforward, as we'll describe shortly.

Effortless Income and Tax Data Sharing
Gone are the days of manual entries or using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Starting with the 2024-2025 cycle, you'll use the IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) for a seamless transfer of your financial details to the FAFSA, or you'll simply confirm if you haven't filed taxes.

Unified Access with FSA ID
Every contributor to your FAFSA—whether it’s you, your spouse, your parents, or a stepparent—will need an FSA ID. This is a key step to ensure a unified and secure process for all involved, especially if taxes are filed separately.

Introducing the Student Aid Index (SAI)
The traditional Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is being transformed into the Student Aid Index (SAI). It’s not just a new name—it’s a new system, which can even indicate a negative figure, bottoming out at -1500, to better reflect your aid eligibility.

Housing Assumptions for Financial Aid
UW-Stout is adapting to the FAFSA's shift away from housing plans. Our assumption is first and second-year students will embrace the campus living experience, while those in their third year and beyond will venture off-campus. This change is pivotal in customizing your financial aid package to suit your Stout journey.

2024-2025 Changes for Some Applicants

Refined Parental Data Requirements
The FAFSA narrative is changing, and so is the way we consider parental contributions. For students with divorced or separated parents, the FAFSA will now focus on the parent who offered more financial support over the last year. If that parent has a new partner, we'll include the stepparent's information too. And in cases of equal support? It's the earnings of the higher-income parent that will count.

Revised Family Contribution Calculations
In a significant shift, the Student Aid Index (SAI) removes the previous consideration of multiple students in college from the same household. This means for some, particularly those with college-bound siblings, the lens through which need-based aid eligibility is assessed will alter, potentially affecting the aid received.

Bringing Family Farms and Businesses into the Equation
The FAFSA is evolving to include more of your family's financial picture. Now, the value of family farms and small businesses with fewer than 100 employees will no longer be omitted—they'll be part of your story when calculating your FAFSA. For Stout students, this change underscores our commitment to understanding and supporting the full scope of your financial journey.

Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA Once Available

Though the FAFSA's release shifts to December, it remains your gateway to financial aid as a new student. Despite the condensed timeline, Stout is committed to processing aid offers swiftly once FAFSAs are filed.
Note: As you wait for the FAFSA to become available, you can still create your FSA ID now.


For Returning Undergraduate Students
For our returning Blue Devils, it's crucial to complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available. With the introduction of the SAI, financial aid landscapes may shift—some may find an increase in need-based aid, while others might see a decrease. Understanding your aid eligibility early ensures you can plan your educational financing with clarity and confidence.

For Graduate Students
Graduate students at Stout, primarily in line for non-need-based federal loans, will appreciate a more straightforward FAFSA application. While the process is simplified, the actual aid eligibility is expected to remain consistent—allowing you to focus on what matters: advancing your academic and professional aspirations.

Stay Informed: Changes on the Horizon
Please note, the 2024-2025 FAFSA updates are directed by the U.S. Department of Education and the information provided here may evolve. Stay connected with us for the latest insights as they become available, ensuring your Stout experience is informed and ahead of the curve.