FAFSA Simplification

The Department of Education (ED) has provided the following updates for the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process:

  • 4-15-2024 The Department of Education has opened up the functionality to make corrections. Instructions on How To Correct or Update Your FAFSA Form can be found on-line at studentaid.gov.  
  • 4-4-2024 Finally, the Department of Education recently resolved an issue that was keeping some contributors without a Social Security number (SSN) from participating in the online FAFSA form. All applicants who previously had challenges inviting their non-SSN contributor to their form may now do so without issue. Affected applicants should follow updated instructions and review our FAFSA best practices at StudentAid.gov/FAFSAtips. 
  • 3-25-2024 Governor Newsom signed AB 1887 extending the on-time filing date for Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarships (MCS) eligibility to May 2, 2024 as a one-time exception for the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • 3-25-2024 The ability for students to make updates and corrections to their FAFSA forms will be available in the first half of April. In advance of that implementation, the Department of Education will provide detailed information on how to correct the most common FAFSA form errors including no signatures and selecting ‘yes’ to applying for unsubsidized loans only (Question 8).
  • 3-12-2024 The Department of Education (ED) announced that students who have contributors without a Social Security number (SSN) can now successfully submit the FAFSA application. Some students in this scenario may still be encountering trouble submitting the application. The Department is aware of these issues and is working on resolutions. ED released a new tips document for students who have a contributor without an SSN to help ensure they can successfully navigate the application. The new tips document can also be found below under the Resources section.
  • 3-12-2024 Once a student’s FAFSA is processed, the FAFSA Submission Summary will now be available to the student when they log into their StudentAid.gov account. At that time, students can review the answers they provided on their submitted FAFSA. Although the FAFSA Submission Summary can be viewed once the FAFSA is processed, in the following weeks, students being processed as part of the backlog will receive an email updating them that their FAFSA Submission Summary can be viewed. They will also be working to make ongoing improvements to address a few known issues with the FAFSA Submission Summary:
    • Applicants who are not eligible to receive a Pell Grant do not see messaging on their FAFSA Submission Summary that they are not eligible. They do see the correct messaging that they are not eligible on their confirmation page. There is currently no timeline for resolution.

    • Pell Grant eligibility is not displaying for provisionally independent students on their FAFSA Submission Summary. There is currently no timeline for resolution 


FAFSA Simplification

Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year.

You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA and California Dream Act Application (CADAA) will now available. The Department of Education (ED) has began its soft launch of the FAFSA.  During this time there may be periods of down time as ED addresses ongoing operational issues.
    • The 2024-2025 FAFSA and CADAA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025 and summer 2025 terms.
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
  • New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available.  You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline and how to prepare below.

FAFSA/CADAA changes for 2024-2025

  • FAFSA/CADAA completion date
    • Instead of opening in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 31, 2023.  This is only temporary for 2024. After the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA will be available in October as usual.
    • The priority deadline for Cal Grant, Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) and State University Grant (SUG) has been extended to May 2, 2024 for the 2024-2025 aid year only.  After the 2024-2025 aid year, the priority deadline will go back to March 2.
  • Streamlined application process
    • The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and has the ability to retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
    • The process for the CADAA will include some of the changes from the new FAFSA.
  • New terminology and information
    • The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formally known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, better reflects the FAFSA results, and implements a separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants.
    • The FAFSA is introducing the new term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's FAFSA form, including the student, the student's spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent's spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs.
  • Expanding Pell Grant eligibility
    • The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.


The following timeline provides an overview of upcoming changes due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. Additional dates will be added as we learn more information.

FAFSA Simplification Timeline
Date Item Description
December 2023

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA) for the 2024-2025 year opens.

May 2, 2024

Priority deadline to submit the FAFSA/CADAA for Cal Grant, Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) and State University Grant (SUG).  Applications can still be submitted after April 2 for federal aid eligibility and possible SUG re-awarding consideration.

Late Spring 2024

Estimated Financial Aid Award Offer begins to go out to new Fall 2024 admitted students.

If you are admitted to the University and have completed the financial aid application, you will receive either an Official or Estimated Financial Aid Offer. 

Summer 2024

Financial Aid Award Offers begin to go out to returning students.

If you have completed the financial aid application, submitted all required documents and the file review has been completed, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Offer


Prepare for the FAFSA

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won't be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  • Make sure every contributor has an email address.  Parents must have an email address to obtain access 
  • Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse in creating an FSA ID. 
    • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives access to the Federal Student Aid's online system and serves as an electronic signature.
    • The FSA ID can be used to, fill out the FAFSA when it's available, sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
  • Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.


How To Submit the 24/25 FAFSA if Your Contributor Doesn't have a Social Security Number (SSN)

Video - How to Submit a 2024-25 FAFSA Form

How To Create a FSA ID Without a Social Security Number (Spanish Version)

Federal Student Aid - What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?

A step-by-step guide to completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA questions

Federal Student Aid YouTube videos

How to Create a FAFSA ID