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2024-2025 FAFSA Changes

There are exciting changes coming to the FAFSA application for the 2024-2025 aid year. This includes a more streamlined application process, better user experience, expanded eligibility, and reduced barriers for certain student populations.

The FAFSA will be shorter and more user friendly.
The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the online FAFSA is dynamic, some students won't be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application and make it less daunting for students and their families.

Students may list up to 20 colleges.
Previously, the FAFSA allowed students to list up to 10 colleges and universities.

The FAFSA will be available in more languages.
Currently, the FAFSA is only available in English and Spanish. The 2024-2025 application will be expanded to include the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents.

Applicants Will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange
Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-2025, all FAFSA contributors must provide consent for the U.S. Department of Education to receive federal tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS. In a very small number of cases, students and families will have to enter their tax data manually, but for most that data will be automatically transferred into the application. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.

ALL contributors must provide financial information.
A contributor — a new term being introduced on the 2024-2025 FAFSA — refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent, step-parent, or spouse). A student's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such and will need to log in to the FAFSA using their own FSA ID to provide the required information.

Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine federal student aid eligibility, and unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

The number in college will not be used to calculate SAI.
Previously, the FAFSA included the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal student aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate UAFS students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.

Some students will automatically be awarded a Pell Grant.
Families making less than 175 percent and single parents making less than 225 percent of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275, 325, 350, or 400 percent of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by the SAI.

The parent responsible for submitting the FAFSA in cases of divorce or separation has changed.
For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the previous 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.

Family farms and small business must be reported as assets.
When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final net value of their farm assets.


The Shorter College Financial Aid and Veteran Benefits Office is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. Due to the significant changes that are occurring, portions of our website may not be 100 percent accurate for the 2024-2025 academic year. We will continue to update this page as we receive more information from the U.S. Department of Education and Federal Student Aid and appreciate your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.

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Shorter College is a private, faith-based, two-year liberal arts college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Founded in 1886 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Shorter College is one of the nation’s 110 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the only private, two-year HBCU in the nation. For more than a decade, the offerings and innovations from our institution have led Shorter College to a continuing ranking as the fastest-growing college campus in Central Arkansas.
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