Financial Aid

Changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA

2024-2025 FAFSA

The 2024-2025 FAFSA is now open!

Federal Student Aid is now accepting FAFSA applications at studentaid.gov. The FAFSA is the only application required at UMass Amherst to be awarded need-based aid. The UMass Amherst school code is 002221. Please note that UMass will not be able to verify that you filed an application until March 2024.

What you can do now:

Why is the FAFSA application changing?

Congress recently passed the FAFSA Simplification Act to streamline the financial aid process for students and families.

While in some cases FAFSA simplification could increase students’ financial aid eligibility, others may see a decrease in aid. Several important changes that can impact the application process and resulting financial aid offers for students are outlined below.

Key changes:

  • Easier FAFSA application process with a reduced number of questions.
  • The Federal Pell Grant expands to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is a different way to determine aid eligibility.
  • Schools will use the SAI to determine eligibility for federal financial aid programs. UMass Amherst will also use the SAI to determine financial need for need-based institutional funding such as the UMass Amherst Grant.
  • Unlike the EFC calculation, the SAI will not include the number of family members in college. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college. 
  • The guidance on which parent income to report for students whose parents are separated or divorced has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.
  • To speed up processing time, parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID and submit their FAFSA application online. They will no longer have to print, sign and mail the form.
  • Students who qualify for a dependency override due to homelessness, or not being able to access their parents’ financials, no longer need to recertify their dependency status each year (unless their situation changes).
  • Male students under the age of 26 are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System to receive federal financial aid.

Federal Student Aid Resources:

The U.S. Department of Education has provided resources to help students and families understand the FAFSA changes, and please stay informed about changes by opting in to SMS message alerts in your studentaid.gov account.