2024-25 Major FAFSA Changes

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your application for financial aid at Arkansas Tech University. The FAFSA has minor changes each year, but for 2024-25, the biggest changes in several decades are being implemented via the FAFSA Simplification Act.

The FAFSA Simplification Act expands eligibility for federal financial aid, streamlines the financial aid application process for students and families, provides a better user experience in completing the form, and also reduces completion barriers for certain student populations. There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid, and many factors- such as the size of your family and your year in school- are taken into account to determine your Financial Aid Eligibility.

Federal Aid Eligibility includes that you:
  • have financial need for need-based aid,
  • are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, and
  • are enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at an eligible college or career/trade school.

The 2024-25 FAFSA is available now at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Keep in mind, you can register for classes before you complete the FAFSA.

Click here for a link to videos provided by Federal Student Aid to assist you in completing the form.

We understand that the financial aid process can be confusing and complex, and we are here to help. You may contact the Arkansas Tech Financial Aid Office by phone at 479-968-0399, email at fa.help@atu.edu, or in-person in RC Brown Hall, Suite 206. 



What Did not Change?

There were many changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA and some smaller changes leading up to FAFSA Simplification, but the following list did not change, or had only minor changes.

  • You have to fill out the FAFSA each year, and you must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Questions added in 2023-24 about the applicant's sex, race, and ethnicity have no impact on eligibility and are there for statistical purposes only.
  • Dependency status questions to determine if you need you parents must provide their information have not change.
  • You still report tax and income using prior-prior year's information (2-years ago). If you or your family had a significant event resulting in a reduction of income due to extenuating circumstances, you can request a special circumstances review.
  • Federal educational loan requirements are the same.
  • You still have to begin and remain in attendance through the 100% reduction of tuition & fees period of each term to receive the aid, and you must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to keep getting your aid.

what are some new terms on the fafsa for 2024-2025?


A contributor is anyone required to provide consent and approval for obtaining federal tax information needed to complete a student's FAFSA. If applicable, it may include:

  • Student
  • Student's spouse
  • Parent, biological or adopted
  • Parent's spouse (stepparent) 


The Future Act requires all contributors on the FAFSA to provide consent to share their tax information with the IRS. This consent is necessary for the Department of Education to request federal tax information from the IRS and to use that information in the federal student aid application process. 

 Federal tax information (FTI)

By signing your FAFSA, you and your contributors consent to transfer your Federal Tax Information (FTI) directly from the IRS to the FAFSA using direct data exchange.

Student aid Index (SAI)

The Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in determining need-based fund eligiblity. It is the measure of the student's financial need and is calculated using the student's and contributor(s) (if applicable) information reported on the FAFSA. The main difference in the SAI and the EFC is that the SAI does not consider the number of family members in college.

2024-25 FAFSA Processing timeline

Date Action Item
December 31, 2023 FAFSA opens for 2024-25 aid year
Early April 2024

Tech Financial Aid Office starts receiving FAFSAs from Federal Student Aid

Late April-Early May 2024

Tech Financial Aid will begin sending out federal aid award offer emails.