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FAFSA Changes

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has changed!

New FAFSA Form
With the passage of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the Department of Education (ED) has made the form shorter, from answering more than 100 questions to around 30, and easier to file for students applying for federal aid. 

New Timeline for the 2024-25 Aid Year
The 2024-25 FAFSA form is now fully available! While there is still plenty of time to submit your FAFSA, to increase your chances of getting the most financial aid available, make sure to apply before the University of Houston’s priority deadline of March 15, 2024.

The ED has indicated that FAFSA information won’t be made available to universities until March. As soon as we have your 2024-25 FAFSA, the UH Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will reach out to you via email to confirm we have received it, and let you know if we require any additional documentation from you.

We will continue to update you as we receive additional information from the ED.

For the 2025-26 aid year, the FAFSA form will resume opening on Oct. 1, 2024.

What You Need to Know 

The form has a new term called contributors. It refers to anyone who can provide information for the applicant’s FAFSA form, which can be any of the following:

  • the student
  • the student's spouse (if applicable)
  • a biological or adopted parent
  • the spouse of the remarried parent who is on the FAFSA (the stepparent)

The form requires both students and contributors to have an FSA ID.

  • If you or your contributor have filed FAFSA before, you and your contributor(s) already have an FSA ID.
  • If not, you and/or your contributor(s) will need to create a StudentAid.gov account by following these steps. If you have a Social Security number (SSN), you must provide it when creating your account. The process of acquiring an FSA ID can take up to three days.
  • If your contributor does not have a SSN, they are still able to apply for an FSA ID. Click here for these instructions in English or click here for instructions in Spanish.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI) to determine how much money a student is eligible for. This new formula has three changes:

  1. It will no longer take into consideration how many students a family has enrolled in higher education.
  2. It allows for a negative contribution of up to 1,500.
  3. Eligibility for Federal Pell Grants will be calculated separately.

Before filling out the FAFSA form, students can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to receive an estimate of how much federal student aid they may be eligible to receive based on the SAI.

Federal Pell Grant eligibility has expanded, and the amount offered will depend on family size and the federal poverty level.

The Future Act requires that every contributor on the FAFSA provide consent to share their tax information in the application so that the IRS can share this information with Federal Student Aid (FSA). All parties whose Federal Tax Information (FTI) is included on a student's FAFSA form must consent annually.

Starting with the 2024-25 offer year, both first-time and renewal applicants who indicate on their FAFSA form that they have an unusual circumstance will be granted provisional independent status. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid may request additional information from you to make a final determination.

Stay Informed
Stay informed about the changes and receive up-to-date notifications and information:

  • Did you fill out a FAFSA form for 2023-24? Log in to your StudentAid.gov account and be sure they have your current email address. The ED is expected to send out an email to students (and parents of dependent students) who applied on the 2023-24 form, reminding them to apply for 2024-25. 
  • Didn’t submit a 2023–24 FAFSA form? Make sure to create your StudentAid.gov account — and remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

Have Questions?
If you have any questions about the new FAFSA form, please contact us.

Phone: 713-743-1010, option 5
Email: sfa@central.uh.edu
Virtual Advising:

Monday and Friday | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday | 2 - 4 p.m.

In-Person Services at the Welcome Center

Monday - Thursday | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

We are here to help you through this new process and system.