My Iona

Changes to FAFSA

The U.S. FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul to the processes and systems used to apply for and offer financial aid.

Impacts & Benefits

The FAFSA® is getting a makeover with the hopes of making it even easier for students and their families to submit.

Not only will there be fewer questions on the FAFSA® to answer, and fewer requirements overall, your tax information will be retrieved through a direct data exchange with the IRS.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) also estimates we should see in increase to the number of students eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant.


Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA®, all users/contributors must have an FSA ID and password to fill out the FAFSA®, even those without a Social Security Number (SSN).

Processing your FSA ID can take up to 5 business days, so we recommend creating it at least a week before you start your FAFSA®. You could even do it now!

Jump to:

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA®, all contributors (student, student’s spouse, and/or parent) must have their own FSA ID.

You can create it now!

In general, because it can take up to 5 business days, we recommend creating it at least a week before you start your FAFSA®.

To retrieve a forgotten FSA ID or password, please click here. Then, click either the “Forgot my Username” or “Forgot my Password”  links.

If you’ve got a Social Security Number (SSN), you can create it now!

In general, because it can take up to 5 business days, we recommend creating it at least a week before you start your FAFSA®.

Those without SSN’s will likely have to wait until December 2023 before the system is able to create their FSA IDs.

What's Changing?

A contributor refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA®, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.

  • You, the student, will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of your FAFSA®.
  • Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of your FAFSA®. They will only be able to see and complete their own specific sections of your FAFSA®.
  • All Contributors must provide consent to have their federal tax information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA®. If consent is not provided by all parties, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional; moving forward, it’s required.

If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent(s) is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA®.

It no longer will default to the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.

The number of people in your family size will be automatically pulled in from your Federal Tax Information (FTI).

The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA®, but it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.

The net worth of any small business and/or farm assets must be included on the FAFSA®.

Remember, net worth = asset value minus asset debt.


The final figure calculated by the FAFSA® will no longer be called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Rather, it will be called the Student Aid Index (SAI) to more accurately describe how that number is used to determine financial aid eligibility.

Student Aid Report (SAR) > FAFSA® Submission Summary

Similarly, the Student Aid Report (SAR) which is the confirmation of what’s been submitted will now be referred to as the FAFSA® Submission Summary.

What’s Not Changing?

The FAFSA® will continue to be made available on an annual basis for federal financial aid consideration and students must meet the eligibility requirements.

It is the only application Iona University uses for consideration of all sources of financial aid including federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

Financial Aid FAQs

The requirement that determines whether or not you, the student, are required to provide parent information on your FAFSA® will remain the same. The FAFSA® includes a series of questions and you must be able to answer ‘Yes’ to at least one question to be considered Independent for financial aid purposes.

Read More: Dependency Status

The FAFSA® will use prior-prior tax data, which could be up to two years old.

If you or your family have experienced significant changes in income or have expenses that are not reflected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), your special circumstances may be eligible for a professional judgment.

Read More: Special Conditions/Professional Judgment