The Better FAFSA: What You Need to Know

The Better FAFSA: What You Need to Know

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Higher education opens doors to opportunity.

The U.S. Department of Education is making transformational changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The FAFSA form is an application that students and families need to complete to apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study funds, and loans. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free, and it gives students access to the largest source of financial aid to help pay for higher education.

The Better FAFSA is simplified, redesigned, and streamlined. It is faster and easier to fill out, with most students and families completing it in less than 15 minutes. It ensures 665,000 more students will receive Federal Pell Grants to pay for college. Additionally, more than 1.7 million more students will receive the maximum Pell Grant.

FAFSA Week of Action

April 15-19 is our National FAFSA Week of Action and the launch of our #FAFSAFastBreak national campaign!

How will your organization help drive FAFSA submissions leading up to and through the Week of Action? We'd love to hear what you're up to. Please share your success stories and submission efforts using the hashtag: #FAFSAFastBreak!

Thank you for joining the FAFSA Week of Action to help more students secure more financial aid to help pay for higher education!

Better FAFSA Toolkits

 

Watch and share these videos on the Better FAFSA.

High School FAFSA Submission Rate

State Rate as of 4/12

District Of Columbia

55.8%

Connecticut

49.3%

Tennessee

49.3%

Louisiana

48.8%

Rhode Island

48.0%

Illinois

47.9%

Massachusetts

46.1%

California

45.7%

New Jersey

44.0%

Texas

43.7%

The submission rate is based on the number of high school senior 2024-25 FAFSA submissions divided by the projected total of high school graduates for that state.

Check out high school FAFSA submission rates by state here (updated 4/15/24)

Resources for students and families, high school educators and college access counselors, and college officials

For students and families

  • See and share this toolkit for students and families
  • Learn about the better FAFSA form, and check out this slide deck
  • Read these FAFSA Pro Tips to help you successfully complete the FAFSA form
  • Check out this video on applying for financial aid with the FAFSA form
  • Watch and share these videos from students, a parent, an organizational leader, and Department leaders on the Better FAFSA.
  • Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to receive an estimate of how much federal student aid the student may be eligible to receive

For high school educators and college access counselors

For college officials

  • See and share this toolkit for college officials
  • Check out this slide deck
  • Check out this roadmap for institutions and state partners
  • See the FSA Knowledge Center, a repository for all information, guidance, and training related to better FAFSA
  • Watch and share these videos from students, a parent, an organizational leader, and Department leaders on the Better FAFSA.
  • Bookmark this page for regular status updates and resources related to the better FAFSA form
  • Sign up to receive updates on webinars and other information

Additional Actions the Department is Taking

Significantly Reducing Verification Requirements

Thanks to the overhauled FAFSA form, the majority of income data now comes directly from the IRS, which will not need to be verified. This year’s reduction in verifications will reduce the burden for colleges and students while continuing to protect against fraud.

Providing Additional Flexibility on Recertification

The Department will, through Sept. 2024, waive the requirement for institutions to recertify eligibility for federal student aid programs no later than 90 days before their Program Participation Requirement expires. This flexibility will give time back to institutions at this critical moment.

Making Connections to Data

The Department is posting new data and resources to help schools drive FAFSA completion. For example, the Department released data by high school on their students’ 2024–2025 FAFSA submissions, two months ahead of schedule.

Suspending New Routine Program Reviews

The Department conducts program reviews to confirm colleges meet requirements for institutional eligibility, financial responsibility, and administrative capability. The Department will suspend new reviews through June 2024, except for the most serious issues, helping colleges focus on getting aid award offers to students.

Last Updated: 4/19/2024