Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

FAFSA Simplification 2024-25

Everything you know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is changing! The 2024-25 FAFSA and processes are undergoing the most significant changes since 1997, and the details are just starting to emerge.

These changes to the FAFSA are making it easier for Chico State students and their families to get the financial aid they need to pay for college. Thanks to the FAFSA Simplification Act, the new FAFSA application introduces several new features to help students and families apply for financial aid more efficiently, including:

  • Significantly less questions to answer. The number of questions is being reduced from 108 questions to 46 questions. 
  • Expanded integration with the IRS Direct Data Exchange, reducing the time applicants spend manually entering their tax information. All parties must give consent to be eligible for aid.
  • Expanded eligibility criteria for aid, increasing the number and amounts of aid students may receive.
  • Watch these video(opens in new window) for more information about FAFSA Simplification and submitting the 2024-25 FAFSA.

It is now easier than ever to apply for the financial aid you need to pay for college.

  • December Open Date
    Due to these significant changes, the FAFSA and CADAA applications for 2024-25 will open in December 2023, rather than October 1. In future years, the FAFSA and CADAA return to their October 1 opening date.
  • Prepare for the FAFSA

    While the 2024-25 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

    • Check out the Federal Student Aid YouTube channel(opens in new window) for information about the 2024-25 FAFSA.
    • Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website(opens in new window) and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
      • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
      • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
      • If you already have an FSA ID, there is no need to create a new one.  Your existing FSA ID will continue to work. 
  • Federal Student Aid Estimator
    For an estimate of your federal financial aid for 2024-25, you can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator(opens in new window) on the Federal Student Aid website. This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024-25 and the federal aid for which you may qualify.
  • Shorter FAFSA
    Watch this video(opens in new window)  for more information on the shorter FAFSA form.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) Replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    After submitting the FAFSA, students will receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) instead of an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). College financial aid offices, state agencies, and the federal government will use the SAI to determine eligibility for financial aid. This will affect all FASO processes. Watch this video(opens in new window) for more information.
  • Direct Data Exchange for the FAFSA
    Here's a video(opens in new window) with information about the Direct Data Exchange.
  • Approval/Consent
    FAFSA Applicants must give their approval/consent to be eligible for aid. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, all persons listing tax information on the FAFSA will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) to share tax information or confirm non-filing status. Consent from all parties must be given for the student to be eligible for aid.
  • Parent of Record
    Effective with the 2024-25 award year, the parent with whom the student lived the most in the past 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA is no longer a criterion for divorced or separated parents. For divorced or separated parents, income and assets are reported for the parent who provides the most financial support over the 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA even if the student does not live with that parent or lives with the other parent.
Stay tuned for more information!