The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) received an update for the 2024-25 school year due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. Federal Student Aid has released a new timeline that will impact when students will receive college award packages.
Currently, we anticipate receiving FAFSA data by mid-March, which means we won’t be able to send out financial aid offer letters until early April. We understand that this delay may affect your final decisions for the upcoming school year, and we apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.
While you wait for your financial aid offer letter, here are some steps you can take:
If you have not begun the FAFSA, start now
- Create an FSA ID for yourself and any contributors.
- File the FAFSA at studentaid.gov using WMU's school code: 002330. Despite the delay, filing early can mean receiving an offer letter sooner.
- If you encounter any challenges with the FAFSA form, you can use the live chat features or email email@example.com for assistance. Providing screenshots of any issues can be helpful.
- Plan a visit to Western Michigan University! Our Future Bronco Days events are designed specifically for first-year students. Visiting campus can provide valuable insight to aid in your final decision.
- Estimate potential aid using the FSA Student Aid Estimator. Compare this to actual WMU costs as you consider your options. This tool provides an estimate of how much federal student aid you may be eligible to receive for the 2024-25 academic year.
- Apply for scholarships: We encourage you to apply early, as some scholarship priority deadlines are approaching, such as March 1.
- Be sure to check your WMU email often! Financial aid updates and notifications will be sent via your WMU email.
- The 2024-25 FAFSA has posed challenges for many students and families. Here are some Pro Tips when filing the FAFSA.
- The federal government created a 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts webpage to provide updates about known issues.
What are the 2024-25 FAFSA changes?
The new FAFSA® will:
- Determine your financial aid for summer II 2024, fall 2024, spring 2025 and summer I 2025.
- Be more streamlined with fewer questions.
- Be updated with new information and terms.
- Offer increased eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant.
- Be streamlined with fewer questions and automatically pull your tax info from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
New terminology and info
- Contributor is a new term and refers to anyone providing info on the FAFSA®, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent or a stepparent.
- Contributors are required to provide information on the FAFSA® form.
- Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA®. |
- Contributors will need their own FSA ID.
- Contributors must provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information directly transferred from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the FAFSA®.
- If all contributors do not provide consent and approval, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid.
- Student Aid Index (SAI) calculates how much need-based financial aid a student is eligible to receive. The lower the SAI, the greater the financial need. SAI can be a negative number as low as -$1,500. It replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from previous forms.
- FAFSA Submission Summary is what you will receive once you have completed and submitted the FAFSA® and will replace the Student Aid Report (SAR).
- Direct Data Exchange (DDX) previously known as IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a tool that imports tax data directly from the IRS to your FAFSA.
- More students will now be eligible for the Pell Grant.
- Small family-owned businesses and farms are now counted as assets.
- Families will no longer benefit from having multiple students in college.
- The parent who completes the FAFSA® is changing for divorced or separated parents. The FAFSA® will now be completed by the parent who provided more financial support in the past year rather than the one the student lived with the most.