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ED Officials Deliver Update on FAFSA Simplification at NASFAA National Conference

By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter

As financial aid professionals prepare to implement some of the most significant changes to the federal student financial aid application process in decades, officials from the Department of Education (ED) delivered an update on the changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA, including a preview of the online version of the simplified application, during NASFAA’s 2023 National Conference in San Diego on Friday. 

The session, moderated by Gail Holt, dean of financial aid at Amherst College, and Karen McCarthy, NASFAA’s vice president of public policy and federal relations, was presented by Kerri Moseley-Hobbs, policy specialist at ED, and Kellis Robbins, project specialist at ED. Moseley-Hobbs focused her portion of the presentation on the important changes that will come with FAFSA simplification as ED continues the implementation phase of the FAFSA simplification legislation. 

 Moseley-Hobbs also pointed out changes to Pell Grant eligibility, prison education programs, professional judgment, special and unusual circumstances, and unaccompanied homeless youth that were all included in the FAFSA simplification effort. 

Other new parts of the FAFSA include the addition of contributors. Students will be able to add their parents or spouse as a contributor and will be able to send them an invitation to fill out their portion of the student’s FAFSA. If the contributor hasn’t filled out their part of the FAFSA yet, the student can resend an invitation, Robbins said. 

Robbins added that the FAFSA will now require all contributors  to the application — whether the student, parents, or spouse — to provide consent for the IRS to share taxpayer data with ED regardless of their tax filing status. Additionally, every contributor will be required to have an FSA ID, Robbins said. Those who have not been able to create an FSA ID, such as those without Social Security numbers, will now be able to do so, she added.

Robbins also highlighted that under the new FAFSA, if parents already created an FSA ID and provided information for one child, then that information will auto-populate on future FAFSAs if they have other children who plan on completing the application. 

She also noted that certain “pain points” of the FAFSA will be resolved, including the removal of the save key; retirement of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT); doubling the number of colleges that can be listed on the online form; a new parent wizard to help students identify which parent(s)’ information to include on the FAFSA; and renaming the  Student Aid Report (SAR) to the FAFSA Submission Summary.

Robbins noted that financial aid practitioners can watch and attend different webinars from the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) to learn more about FAFSA simplification this summer.

One of the main focuses at NASFAA’s National Conference is FAFSA simplification, with several sessions and events dedicated to preparing for the new 2024-25 FAFSA. Keep up with NASFAA’s Conference News Coverage page and follow #NASFAA2023 for updates on the conference!


Publication Date: 6/30/2023

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