Financial Aid

NEW upcoming changes to the FAFSA

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and marks a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Included in the overhaul are changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as well as the need analysis formulas that determine federal aid eligibility. There are also changes to terminology and policies and procedure changes for institutions that participate in federal student aid programs.

Here are some key items to stay informed:

Fewer questions on the FAFSA

The maximum number of questions on the 2024-2025 FAFSA Application will be 46, down from 108 in 2023-2024. The streamlined format should simplify the application process for students and families.

The IRS Direct Data Exchange

Beginning in 2024-2025, students (and parent(s) of dependent students, or spouses of independent students) must provide consent for the U.S. Department of Education to receive tax return information or confirmation of non-filer status directly from the IRS. Once consent is provided, information from the tax return will be automatically added to the FAFSA application.

All contributors must provide financial information

A contributor is anyone who is required to provide information on the FAFSA application (such as a parent, stepparent, or student’s spouse). A student’s answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide financial information.

Anyone identified as a contributor will receive an email informing them that they have been identified as such. They will need to log in using their own FSA ID (not the student’s) to provide consent to access their financial information and transfer it to the FAFSA application. An FSA ID is required to access the FAFSA.

Contributors are not responsible for the student’s educational costs, but must provide financial information on the FAFSA in order for the student to be eligible for federal student aid.

Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC will become the Student Aid Index or SAI.

  • SAI better reflects the FAFSA results, not what a family is expected to pay.
  • The number in college will no longer factor into the SAI calculation.
  • The SAI or federal poverty tables will determine Pell Grant eligibility.
  • FSA will no longer divide the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), soon to be called the Student Aid Index (SAI), by the number of students a family has in college.

Who needs an FSA ID?

Both students and parents must create a Student Aid Account or FSA ID.

  • If parents file as married filing jointly - only one parent FSA ID is required.
  • If parents are unmarried but live together or are married and filing taxes separately, both parents must have an FSA ID.
  • The Social Security Administration must verify the FSA IDs before a FAFSA can be started (allow 3 days for processing)
  • FSA IDs will use two-factor authentication.

Please note: There are still updates and changes being made by Federal Student Aid. The upcoming changes to FAFSA aim to make the financial aid process easier and more transparent. Some changes will lead to larger financial aid offers for some and a reduction for others. Read more about the FAFSA Simplification Act.

2024-2025 FAFSA Qs and As from Federal Student Aid


How to apply for financial aid

Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

To help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), prepare all of the required documents:

  • Your FSA ID, which you can create on www.studentaid.gov. Students and parents will need to create their own FSA ID and keep it private.
  • Your Social Security number and driver’s license, and/or Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned
    • If possible, import your taxes with the link to IRS button option on the application
  • Your parent(s) income tax returns, W-2 forms and 1040 forms if you’re a dependent
    • If possible, import your taxes with the link to IRS button option on the application
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • Goodwin University’s federal school code is 015833

Helpful information:

  • The FAFSA takes 3 to 5 business days to arrive in the financial aid office.
  • The financial aid office may need to collect additional documentation once your FAFSA is reviewed

If you require further assistance with your FAFSA application, contact us at:

  • Phone860-727-6723
  • Email