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 is changing 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.

at a glance:

December Open Date

  • The 2024-25 FAFSA will open in December 2023.
    • Note: The FAFSA form will return to an Oct. 1 opening date for the 2025-26 award year on October 1, 2024.
  • The UNC Greensboro FAFSA priority deadline is February 15, 2024.

FAFSA Form Changes

  • The FAFSA questions will be more aligned with federal income tax returns, and there will be an automatic transfer of income tax data to the FAFSA.
  • The amount of questions are decreasing; from 108 to 36. 

FSA IDs & Consent

  • The FAFSA now requires consent. Both students and parents, spouses, or other contributors must create an FSA ID before completing the form and have to separately login to fill out their sections in order to consent to their information being used on the FAFSA.
    • Consent cannot be revoked, but must be given each time the FAFSA is filed. 
    • The FSA ID will take up to 72 hours to receive, so students cannot request their FSA ID and complete the FAFSA in the same day. 

Additional Changes:

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will now be replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). These numbers are used to determine how much aid you are eligible for.
  • EFC was based on your family’s assets and income. SAI is instead 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 are 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.

How To Prepare

  • 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.
    • An FSA ID is required to file a FAFSA, and both students and parents 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.
    • New FSA IDs may take up to 3 days to be received, so plan ahead.
  • File your FAFSA early:
    • Be prepared to submit it as soon as it opens in December.
    • UNC Greensboro FAFSA Priority Filing Deadline is February 15, 2024.
  • Embrace the positive changes:
    • The FAFSA is now simpler and easier to complete!

What’s next?

The Department of Education is finalizing additional details for the 2024-2025 FAFSA application. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will provide updates as changes are formalized and resources become available. If you need assistance in the meantime, please reach out to

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