Big Changes to the FAFSA

Student on computer

If you filed a 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and were planning to file a 2024-25 FAFSA, you’ve probably already heard about the changes the federal government is making to the application process. The FAFSA usually opens each year on October 1, but due to the number of updates, availability of the application will be delayed until December 31.

Here are some of the important changes in store.

  • Each person with information reported on the FAFSA is now considered a contributor.
  • Each contributor must have a Federal Student Aid (FSA) user ID and password.
  • The student and parent(s) must consent to having their federal income tax information transferred from the IRS to the FAFSA.
  • The student or parent(s) must complete their section of the application, then request the next contributor to complete their section.
  • For students of divorced parents, the parent who provides the most financial support needs to file the FAFSA with the student. (It does not matter which parent the student lives with the most.)
  • The net value of farm and business assets must be reported on the application.

The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education of the State of Nebraska sent out a communication in early October. It listed webinars available to help students and parents prepare for the FAFSA once it opens. I’d encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the changes to this important process.

Tom Ochsner



Tom Ochsner is director of scholarships and financial aid.