FAFSA Simplification Act

What Is It? Why Is It Changing?

The biggest change to Financial Aid in 40 years is occurring with the 2024-2025 academic year. Are you ready?  We want to keep you informed about your Financial Aid and the changes ahead. Check this page regularly for updates as the Financial Aid Office prepares for these changes.

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to offer federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. Some changes have already gone into effect in prior academic years, but the largest changes are coming in 2024-25. This includes changes to 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 alter how it looks for students to apply for aid through the FAFSA® form and the methodology for determining what aid students may be eligible for.

What Does This Mean for You?

The 2024-2025 FAFSA® process cycle is different, but the Financial Aid Office is here for you! This webpage is intended to keep you updated with the most recent information.

What Is Changing?

  • 2024-2025 FAFSA Release Date

    • As of December 31, 2023, the FAFSA is now available.

  • Say goodbye to “EFC” (expected family contribution) and hello to “SAI” (student aid index)

    • This number measures the student and/or family’s ability to pay for college. The new need analysis formula allows for a potential SAI as low as -1500 and implements a separate eligibility criterion for determining Federal Pell Grants.

  • Expanded Access to Federal Pell Grant

    • Expanded eligibility based on family size (not including number in college) and federal poverty level allows for more students to receive Federal Pell Grants

    • Incarcerated students in federal and state penal facilities may be able to receive Federal Pell Grants

    • Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility is restored to students whose school closed when they were enrolled or if the school is found to have misled the student

  • Streamlined FAFSA® Form

    • Fewer questions are asked, and federal tax data is automatically transferred from the IRS starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA®

  • New Terminology:  With the 2024-2025 FAFSA® you can expect to see and hear words such as contributor (anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA® like a parent or spouse) and consent (each required contributor is required to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA®)
  • Schools are expected to begin receiving FAFSA applicant information in early March 2024.  This impacts the college's  processing timeline and initial aid offers will be delayed.  We tentatively anticipate to begin aid offers after June 10, 2024.

What Isn't Changing?

  • The types of aid available to Shoreline Community College students 
  • The FAFSA is still required to be submitted every year
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA remain the same
  • Tax information from the prior-prior year is still collected.  This means you report 2022 income and assets on the 2024-2025 application.
  • Shoreline Community College financial aid recommended deadlines will not change
  • The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race and ethnicity has no effect on federal student aid eligibility and is collected for statistical purposes only by the Department of Education.  Shoreline Community College will not receive this information from the FAFSA.

Want More Information?

Watch what Federal Student Aid has to say about FAFSA Simplification in their YouTube video. 

How Can You Prepare?

  • Create a FSA ID now if you (or your parent) do not already have one at fsaid.ed.gov.  Use this form to keep track of your FSA ID information.
  • See how the FAFSA Simplification changes impact what you may qualify for. Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to see what you may now be eligible for.

  • High School Seniors - read the Washington Student Achievement Council's March 2024 message regarding important FAFSA updates.  

Check back here for the most recent updates!

Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA)

The WASFA is for people who do not file a FAFSA.  In general, a person should complete the WASFA if they are a Washington resident and undocumented or do not qualify for federal financial aid because of their immigration status.  

How Is the WASFA Impacted?

  • The Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for 2024-2025 became available January 5, 2024.

  • Create a WASFA account if you do not already have one at https://wsac.wa.gov/WASFAelig.  Use this form to keep track of your WASFA account information.
  • Check back here for any changes to the WASFA and state aid.

  • Follow Washington Student Achievement Council’s WASFA website as well for additional resources.