Students applying for college are in for a busy December this year.
Rather than the usual months of September or October, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is expected to be open in December. Along with the time switch, several additional changes will appear on the 2024-2025 FAFSA application that students and parents can prepare for now.
Every person contributing to a FAFSA application–the student applying, a spouse, parent/guardian, or a guardian’s spouse–will need a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to provide the necessary information on their application portion. FSA IDs’ can be created on the StudentAid.gov website. To prepare for when December comes, start creating FSA IDs’ now. The FASFA Form will also be accessible on StudentAid.gov.
For any contributors, Federal tax information will be transferred directly into a student’s FAFSA form through a direct exchange with the IRS. Those contributing must provide consent and approval to do so. If consent is not provided, students will still be allowed to submit FAFSA forms but a Student Aid Index won’t be calculated. However, that would make the student ineligible for federal aid.
On the FASFA form, students can list up to 20 colleges but for the FASFA pdf students can list up to 10 colleges.
To best prepare, know deadlines ahead of time. Currently, there is no exact date for when the FAFSA opens just that it is estimated for December. Research and start gathering needed documents as soon as possible, additionally create an FSA ID early. This can help one be ready for the long process of filing for federal aid.