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FAFSA Changes for 2024

Fafsa. Student aid application form on the tablet.

Source: Ilya Burdun / Getty

It’s Money Monday. Listen, y’all the Department of Education finally released the new FAFSA free application for federal student aid. However, millions of people are having problems completing it and our money expert Jini Thornton is here to tell us all about the changes to the FAFSA and to give us some tips on how to complete the form. 



What FAFSA and who needs to complete it? 



All right, Erica, let’s start with the basics. Like you said, the FASA stands for the free application for federal student aid. So think about it. This is folks who need it, who are applying for need based federal aid. Remember, the Pell Grant works. 

And even certain federally backed student loans, like the subsidized and unsubsidized loans, is also interesting. Even certain scholarships require that you complete the FASA. So even if folks think they got too much money and they’re not applying for need based a, you probably still need to complete the FASA now. Current college students need to complete it. But also all the graduated high school seniors Everybody needs to be completing that Form right now though. 



Take notes, people. OK, what are the key changes to FAFSA? 



OK, let’s talk about a couple of the key changes. Let’s start with the good news. The good news is the application is a lot easier now. They went from over 100 questions down to 18 questions which is crazy. 

So super happy that it’s easier for the high school seniors before you could only select ten colleges that you could send your financial aid application to if you’re applying now, you can list 20 colleges. But now let’s talk about the bad news. The sibling discount has been removed. You used to get a discount if you had more than one child in college. That discount is now gone. The other thing Erica, that’s creating some confusion is everybody who’s a contributor to the form. So that could be the parent that the child lives with. It could be the parent. That the child does not live with it could be the custodial parents new spouse. Everybody’s a contributor and they must have their own FSA ID. Anybody contributing information to this form now has to have their own ID, and it was not like that in the past. 

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