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APSU ready to guide students through federal FAFSA changes for 2024-25

By: Ethan Steinquest December 1, 2023

APSU's campus during the fall.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Austin Peay State University (APSU) students applying for financial aid for the 2024-25 award year should be aware of upcoming changes to the process and eligibility requirements due to the federal government’s recently enacted FAFSA Simplification Act.

The legislation aims to provide a more streamlined application process, expanded eligibility for financial aid, reduced barriers for certain student populations and a better user experience when filling out the FAFSA form – which will be available no later than Dec. 31, 2023.

APSU’s Office of Student Financial Aid is encouraging students to prepare now by gathering their 2022 tax documents, creating a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID and getting familiar with the updates to the FAFSA form.

Some major changes required by the law include:

Replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI)

The SAI is part of a new formula to determine eligibility for federal student aid by subtracting a student’s SAI from their chosen college or university. Students can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to learn where they might be on the index. 

Modifications to family definitions in FAFSA formulas

The way a student’s family size is determined will align more closely with the information reported on their tax returns and their parents’ tax returns. Dependent students will need one or both parents to complete sections of the FAFSA, and the APSU Office of Financial Aid’s website can help them determine which parent(s) to include.

Expanding access to Federal Pell Grants

Starting with the 2024-25 award year, eligibility for Federal Pell Grants will be linked to family size, household income and the federal poverty level, allowing more students to receive assistance.

Streamlining the FAFSA form

When possible, the government will use data received directly from the IRS to calculate a student’s SAI and their eligibility for Federal Pell Grants. In addition, the FAFSA Simplification Act removes questions about Selective Service registration and drug convictions.

For more information or to stay updated on the 2024-25 FAFSA form’s launch, visit www.apsu.edu/fafsa or the Federal Student Aid website. In the meantime, APSU is still accepting scholarship applications through Feb. 1, 2024.

Students can also call APSU’s Office of Student Financial Aid at 931-221-7907 if they need any assistance applying for scholarships or navigating the new FAFSA process.