2024-2025 FAFSA Filing Updates

The U.S. Department of Education announced that the 2024–2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available on December 31, 2023. Rhode Island College's priority filing deadline is April 15, 2024, with rolling consideration thereafter. 

What is the FAFSA Simplification Act? 

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid, starting with the 2024–25 award year. These changes are aimed at making it easier for students and their families to apply for financial aid. This includes the FAFSA, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs. 

Major Changes

  • FAFSA available on December 31, 2023
  • More streamlined application process, with fewer questions and an easier way to transfer the tax information directly from IRS
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 

Terminology Changes 

  • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA. For example, the student, student’s spouse, student’s parent(s), and/or student’s stepparent(s)
  • Consent: each contributor will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return 
  • SAI: Student Index Aid (SAI) replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS

Changes to the Application 

  • There are fewer questions on the FAFSA.
  • For students whose parents are divorced or separated, the Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent who provides you with the most financial support and will no longer be the parent with whom you lived with the most over the past 12 months. 
  • Each contributor (student, student spouse, parent(s) and/or stepparent) will have to provide consent.  
  • If any contributor does not provide their consent the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and we will not be able to determine your eligibility for financial aid. 
  • Foster, homeless, and unaccompanied youth—as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information—will be able to complete the form with a provisional independent student determination and receive a calculated SAI. 
  • Students can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application. 

Other Changes 

  • A direct data share with the IRS will replace what is currently known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). 
  • Resources for completing the FAFSA form will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States. 
Rhode Island College entrance


Office of Financial Aid

The mission of the Office of Student Financial Aid is to assist students and their families in funding educational costs at Rhode Island College.