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2024-2025 FAFSA Simplification

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

2024-2025 FAFSA Simplification

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. We will continue to keep you informed as new information is available.

Key Changes

The FAFSA became available in December 2023 instead of Oct. 1 this year.  The FAFSA will be streamlined and more user-friendly with fewer questions.  The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).Federal aid eligibility will be extended to more students. IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) makes entering tax information easier and will be required for students, spouses, and parents to transfer their 2022 tax information or non-filing status.  The number of family members in college will no longer factor into the FAFSA calculation.  Untaxed items such as payments to tax-deferred retirement or pension plans, veteran’s non-educational benefits, and worker’s compensation will no longer be required.  Parent assets will now include net worth of all businesses and net worth of a family farm, if applicable.  For divorced or separated parents: The parent who provided the most financial support to the student will need to provide their information. Previously, the parent who the student lived with the most provided their information.  Everyone contributing to the FAFSA form online must have their own account on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website. Each contributor, including the student, will access their account with their own FSA ID (account username and password).

Terms to Know

Student Aid Index (SAI): Calculated by FAFSA data and will determine student aid eligibility. This replaces the EFC that was used in previous years.

Cost of Attendance (COA): COA includes tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies (including course materials and equipment), miscellaneous expenses, and transportation. 

Contributor: A parent, step-parent, student, or spouse of the student who is providing information to the FAFSA. 

Consent: Required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax data directly to the FAFSA. If any contributor does not provide consent, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid.

Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Previously known as IRS Data Retrieval; this tool imports tax data directly from the IRS to your FAFSA.

FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): A summary of your completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used in previous years.

Ways to Prepare

Apply for your FSA ID. A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is required for all contributors including the student.

Determine who your contributors are. The FAFSA will also offer assistance when filing. Students, parents, step-parents, and a student’s spouse may be considered contributors.

Gather 2022 Federal Tax Information and W-2s. All contributors will need this information, if applicable.


The FAFSA Simplification Act is a law that represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year, including changes to the FAFSA. Learn more about the law.
The U.S. Department of Education released a soft launch of the 2024-2025 FAFA on December 31st.  During the soft launch, the FAFSA will be available for periods of time with planned pauses to conduct maintenance and resolve potential issues.
Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025
To obtain priority for financial aid awards or scholarships for the Fall 2024 semester, the FAFSA should be submitted prior to April 1, 2024.
Yes, all contributors must have an FSA ID.
Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the parent who provides the most financial support to the student should be the contributor on the FAFSA.  This is one of the major changes with FAFSA Simplification.  Prior to FAFSA Simplification, the parent who the student lived with the most provided their information.
Yes. Invitations to be a contributor will be deleted when they have been inactive for 45 days. Any previously entered information will be deleted and the process will need to start over.
An independent student is one of the following: born before Jan. 1, 2001, married (and not separated), a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, a person with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, a person who is unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
During the soft launch for the 2024-2025 FAFSA form, the FAFSA will be available for periods of time while the U.S. Department of Education monitors site performance and responds to any potential issues. The U.S. Department of Education will also be initiating pauses to the site, during which time the form will not be available while conducting site maintenance. Students and families will have ample time to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA and do not need to rush to fill out the form immediately during the soft launch. If you visit the site during a pause, check back later to access the form.  Visit https://StudentAid.gov/announcements-events/fafsa-support for more information on what to expect during the soft launch.