Upcoming FAFSA Changes

As a result of the FAFSA Simplification ActFederal Student Aid is updating the FAFSA process to expand access to federal student aid and provide an easier, streamlined FAFSA experience for students and families. The FAFSA is now available on the Federal Student Aid website.

On Jan. 30, 2024, the Department of Education shared that they will delay sharing FAFSA data until March 2024, which means UNK will be delayed in providing financial aid packages to incoming students until mid-April or the beginning of May.

  • The number of questions on the FAFSA will be reduced from 108 questions to 36 questions
  • The EFC (expected family contribution) will become SAI (student aid index) 
  • The SAI (previously EFC) formula will change to better reflect FAFSA results 
    • SAI better reflects the FAFSA results, not what a family is expected to pay
    • The number in college will no longer factor into the SAI calculation
    • The SAI or federal poverty tables will determine Pell Grant eligibility
  • Estimate your 2024-2025 SAI and federal financial aid at https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/
  • Student Aid Accounts will use two-factor authentication 
  • Parent(s) now will report the following items as assets: 
    • Net worth of all businesses 
    • Net worth of a family farm 
  • The FAFSA will no longer require these untaxed items: 
    • Payments to tax-deferred retirement or pension plans 
    • Veteran’s non-educational benefits 
    • Worker’s compensation 
  • Students may list up to 20 colleges on their FAFSA now 
  • The Federal Pell Grant will expand to more students and will use family size and the federal poverty level to help determine eligibility
  • Incarcerated students in federal and state penal facilities will regain potential eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant lifetime eligibility will be given to students whose school closed while they were attending or if the school is found to have misled the student
  • FAFSA will use data received directly from the IRS to calculate Federal Pell Grant eligibility and the SAI
  • Questions about Selective Service registration and drug convictions will be removed from the FAFSA 
  • Questions about applicants’ sex, race, and ethnicity will be added to the FAFSA (these questions are for data collection purposes and will not be used to determine financial aid eligibility)
  • The Student Aid Report (SAR) will become the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS)


One of the changes that will be occurring is that everyone who contributes to the FAFSA will need to have their own Student Aid Account. This is the username and password information that you use to log into FAFSA.gov. Here is who is considered a contributor and would need their own account:

  • The student or applicant for the FAFSA,
  • A student's spouse (if their 2022 taxes were not filed as married filing jointly),
  • Only one parent needs a Student Aid Account if the parents filed their 2022 taxes as married filing jointly ,
  • Both biological parents must have their own account if they are unmarried but live together or are married and filing taxes separately,
  • If the parent(s)/guardian(s) are divorced or separated, the household who provided the most financial support to the student must have their own Student Aid Account (previously the parent(s)/guardian(s) that the student had lived with most in the last 12 months).
    • If there is a stepparent that is a part of the household who provided the most financial support to the student, they are considered a contributor and would need a separate Student Aid Account.

We encourage you and other FAFSA contributors to create your Student Aid Account early so that you are prepared to complete the FAFSA in December.

To create a Student Aid Account, go to studentaid.gov and click on the Create Account link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Fill out the required information and hit “Save.” Make sure to store your username and password in a secure location so that you can access it again in December.

If a family member does not have a social security number, they can still complete the process to create an FSA ID. Directions to create an FSA ID without a social security number can be found in English and Spanish

This webpage will be kept up to date with the latest information. If you have any questions about the upcoming FAFSA changes, or are concerned about how they will effect you, please contact our office at (308) 865-8520 or at finaid1@unk.edu.