FAFSA 2024-25: Update and Additional Support

Today, the U.S. Department of Education provided updates on its implementation status for the Better FAFSA® in 2024–2025.

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“We are putting all hands on deck and using every lever we have to make sure we can achieve the transformational potential of the Better FAFSA to make higher education possible for many more of our nation’s students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The technical updates we are making today will not impact our implementation timelines, and, combined with other implementation efforts, the Department’s Better FAFSA will result in more students eligible to access more Pell Grants in the 2024–25 award year.”

  • First, the Department revised its formula for determining the amount of aid students will receive to fully comply with the FAFSA Simplification Act. This was done as one of the last preparations before processing FAFSA submissions in the first half of March.

Together with additional implementation initiatives, the Department’s Better FAFSA will result in 7.3 million students expected to be eligible for Pell Grants in the 2024–2025 award year. The update will not affect the Department’s timeline for delivering completed applications to schools in the first half of March.

With the release of the 2024–25 FAFSA form on December 30, more than 4.7 million forms have been filed successfully.

Through its FAFSA College Support Strategy, the Department will be able to offer technical support and assistance to institutions while working with colleges and vendors to implement this update in the coming days.

As part of this plan, the Department is sending government employees, offering $50 million in technical support and assistance, and giving schools resources to help them get ready to handle student records as quickly as feasible.

  • Second, as part of its FAFSA College Support Strategy, the Department will start sending assistance to institutions with fewer resources throughout the following week. This assistance will come from the Office of Federal Student Aid and nonprofit organizations.

Through the Concierge Service, the Department has received queries from over 100 universities. To determine the unique requirements of each university, the Department has already followed up with these colleges. To provide support tailored to their need, the Department has also begun aggressively contacting other universities with high Pell enrollment, resource shortages, and other requirements.

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  • Third, to process student data more quickly and effectively, the Department will provide schools and their vendors with system-generated test student records this week (also known as Institutional Student Information Records or ISIRs). To ensure that schools and their vendors can complete their systems and process student records when they start receiving them in the first part of March, system-generated test ISIRs are a crucial step.

Up until the processing date, the Department will keep updating more test ISIRs and open-source tools kept in a public Department repository.

The Department’s efforts to ensure that all students may access the maximum amount of financial aid to which they are eligible to pursue their higher education ambitions and to implement the Better FAFSA form are strengthened by the announcements made today.

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