The Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is Changing!

In December 2020 Congress passed The Consolidated Appropriations Act, which contained the FAFSA Simplification Act. This Act changes the FAFSA to a shorter, more straightforward format to provide students and families increased access to federal aid. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will strive to communicate changes, provide resources and trainings, and ensure awareness and excellence in service and support. This page will serve as the primary source of updates, resources and FAFSA news for students, families, and campus partners.

The new 2024-25 FAFSA is now live, and ready for you to submit! Be sure to have yours completed and submitted by UNCG’s Priority Filing deadline of March 1, 2024, to ensure consideration for your maximum possible financial aid package.

UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGES TO THE FAFSA

Next Steps

  • Ensure you have your FSA ID ready:
    • If you’ve filed before, you already have an FSA ID.
    • First-time filers must create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website.
    • It takes up to 72 hours to generate a new FSA ID, so plan ahead before you file!
    • An FSA ID is required to file a FAFSA, and both students and parents (or other contributors, such as spouses, guardians, etc.) need one. If parents file their taxes separately, they both need an FSA ID. If they file taxes jointly, they only need one FSA ID.
  • File your FAFSA early:
    • The new 2024-25 FAFSA is now open for filing! Be ready to submit yours ASAP. The sooner you file your FAFSA, the more aid you’ll be able to access.
    • For the 2024-25 award year, UNCG’s FAFSA Priority Filing deadline is March 1, 2024. Filing by this date ensures you’ll be considered for the maximum amount of aid you’re eligible for.
    • Keep in mind that UNCG will not receive your FAFSA information until the end of January, so the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is unable to assist with answering questions about your application at this time.
  • Embrace the positive changes:
    • The FAFSA is now simpler and easier to complete! The new, streamlined form is one-third the length, and is designed for accessibility and ease of completion. It may also help more students qualify for more aid overall!

Additional Changes

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). These numbers are used to determine how much aid you’re eligible for.
  • EFC was based on your family’s assets and income. SAI is based on your family’s assets, income, parent educational credits, and your zip code, which shows your area’s federal poverty level.

Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, more students will be eligible for Pell grants than ever before! Pell is calculated based on your Student Aid Index (SAI). Your SAI measures your parents’ income, your family size, how much you may be able to pay, and how much you need. Make sure you file your FAFSA to find out if you’re Pell-eligible!

Family farms and small businesses will have a greater impact on federal aid eligibility. The number of students a family has enrolled in college will no longer factor into the FAFSA calculation.

For divorced or separated parents, the parent who provided the most financial support in the last calendar year will now complete the FAFSA. Remember: in order to file, they’ll need an FSA ID, which can take up to 72 hours to generate, so plan ahead!

What’s next?

The all-new 2024-25 FAFSA is now ready for filing, and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is here to help with any questions you have. If you need assistance, please reach out to us at finaid@uncg.edu. We’ll keep you up to date on the continued rollout of the new FAFSA and new resources that are available. In the meantime, make sure you and any contributors (parents, spouses, etc.) have your FSA IDs ready for filing! 

For more detailed information about the FAFSA Simplification Act, visit the Federal Student Aid website