The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form students must fill out if they intend to seek financial aid such as grants (which do not have to be repaid), loans (which have to be repaid with interest) and work study (which allows you to earn money to pay for school). These programs are through the federal government. Students must fill out the form prior to the academic year to be eligible for this aid.
While there is no deadline for the FAFSA application, you should apply early to have the best chance for the most financial aid.
You can apply at any time starting December 31st. Some of our federal and state programs are limited in funding (i.e. Supplemental Grants and Federal Work-Study). To ensure that you are considered for the best possible aid package and that your aid will be ready for the fall fee payment, you should apply as early as possible!
ESU’s school code is 001927.
FAFSA CHANGES 2024–2025
- FAFSA OPENING DATE
The FAFSA will open by December 31, 2023 for the 2024-25 Academic Year. Please pay attention to your emails and campus notifications for specifics as to when the 2024-25 FAFSA will open. Additionally, pay close attention to any other state or scholarship deadlines.
- WHO NEEDS FAFSA ID
Everyone who is a contributor on the FAFSA form must create a separate FSA ID and password to access and complete the online FAFSA form. Contributors who don’t have a social security number can still create a studentaid.gov account to fill out their sections on the FAFSA form.
Additionally, everyone using their FSA ID for the 2024-25 FAFSA will need to go through a two-step verification process. When setting up your FSA ID, use email, text or authentication apps for added security. This means students and their parents/spouses should communicate if they're helping with different roles in filling out the FAFSA.
- WHO ARE MY CONTRIBUTORS
Contributor: any individual required to provide consent and approval for federal tax information (FTI) along with their signature on the FAFSA® form, including the student; the student’s spouse; a biological or adoptive parent; or the parent’s spouse (stepparent).
- EFC IS BEING REPLACED BY SAI
Student Aid Index (SAI): replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a formal evaluation of a student’s approximate financial resources to contribute toward their postsecondary education for a specific award year.
- MANDATORY USE OF IRS DIRECT DATA EXCHANGE
Starting in 2024-25, all contributors on the FAFSA must consent to the Department of Education receiving tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. This change simplifies the FAFSA process for most applicants. Consent and approval for the transfer of federal tax information are required to be eligible for federal student aid. Even if one of your contributors does not have a social security number, did not file taxes or filed taxes outside of the U.S., consent and approval are still required.
- AUTOMATIC PELL GRANT AWARDS FOR SOME
Families below certain income levels will automatically qualify for Pell Grants, streamlining the aid distribution process.
- INCLUSION OF FAMILY FARMS AND SMALL BUSINESSES AS REPORTABLE ASSETS
There are significant changes to the asset contribution components in the SAI formula.
- The net worth of a business is no longer limited to those with more than 100 full-time employees. Applicants will be asked to report the net worth of all businesses, regardless of the size of the business.
- Net worth of a farm now includes the value of a family farm. However, the value of a family’s primary residence is still excluded. The net worth of a farm may include the fair market value of land, buildings, livestock, unharvested crops and machinery actively used in investment farms or agricultural or commercial activities, minus any debts held against those assets.
- NUMBER OF FAMILY MEMBERS IN COLLEGE
The number of family members in college is no longer a factor in the need analysis. Schools may use professional judgment to adjust other data items related to COA or SAI that reflect costs associated with additional family members enrolled in college.
Why is the FAFSA changing?
The FAFSA Simplification Act passed on Dec. 27, 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in the Title IV programs. FSA will be implementing the FAFSA Simplification Act alongside the FAFSA portion of the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act which authorizes a direct data exchange with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to facilitate completing the FAFSA form.