NASFAA Case Studies Examine Impact of FAFSA Simplification on Student Aid Eligibility

Contact: Allie Arcese
Director of Communications
(202) 785-6954
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C, OCTOBER 25, 2022 — Long-awaited changes to simplify the way millions of students and families apply for financial aid to attend college are being implemented next year. Perhaps chief among them is a significant shift in the way a student’s financial need is calculated to measure their ability to pay for college, and their eligibility to receive a federal Pell Grant.

These changes will impact the 2024-25 award year, and will take effect when the next Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is released on October 1, 2023. But financial aid professionals are already hard at work trying to determine how these changes will impact students in various situations. 

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) today released a white paper featuring seven case studies — created by using its Student Aid Index Modeling Tool — that demonstrate how this new methodology will impact students’ eligibility for Pell Grants and other forms of student aid, as measured by the new Student Aid Index. 

In most cases, a student’s financial aid eligibility will remain unchanged or actually increase. In a small number of cases, a student’s eligibility may decrease.  The case studies show several of these circumstances, such as: 

  • A student who qualifies for a higher Pell Grant award due to a higher income protection allowance, which is partially offset by the elimination of the state and other tax allowance.
  • A student who loses Pell Grant eligibility due to the change in the treatment of having multiple family members in college
  • A student whose Student Aid Index is significantly reduced due to the changes to untaxed income in the new need analysis formula.
  • Examples of how families at different income levels would be impacted by new treatment of small businesses and family farms.

“The FAFSA is the key to unlocking billions of financial aid dollars for millions of students each year, and these changes will not only make the form easier to complete, but also result in more students qualifying for Pell Grants,” said NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger. “However, in the world of policy tradeoffs where we’re balancing equity and simplicity, some students may also qualify for less federal student aid.  It is important for financial aid administrators to understand how these formula changes will impact their students so they can plan for them today.” 

To set up an interview, please email NASFAA Director of Communications Allie Arcese or call (202) 785-6954.


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 32,000 financial aid professionals at approximately 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the U.S. Based in Washington, DC, NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators.

Publication Date: 10/25/2022

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