2024–25 FAFSA Updates

Stakeholders should bookmark this page for regular status updates and resources related to the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

Check out FAFSA Fast News messages from leadership.

March 27, 2024 Update

FAFSA Simplification Information Area

March 29, 2024 Webinar – 2024–25 ISIR Highlights

  • We will hold a webinar on Friday, March 29, that will highlight the 2024–25 ISIR, including changes to the way data is organized within ISIR blocks, new identifiers, and new codes. We will also cover what to do when more than one family size value appears on the ISIR and recent updates to the 2024-25 Student Aid Index (SAI) and Pell Grant Eligibility Guide that relate to the ISIR. Refer to the Training Announcement for a complete description of the webinar, including the link to join on the day of the event.

Technical Information

March 25, 2024 Update

FAFSA Simplification Information Area

Electronic Announcements

Technical Information

Webinar Recordings

To access video recordings of the webinar sessions below, log in to the FSA Training Center, go to “Recorded Training” on the main menu bar, select “Webinars and Training Videos,” and locate the recording in the “FAFSA Simplification” category. Webinar transcripts and leave behinds will be available in the same location.

  • Live Internet Webinar – Navigating and Finding Resources on FAFSA Simplification (March 22, 2024)

  • Live Internet Webinar – 2024–25 ISIRs: Transmission Support and Delivery Ramp Up (March 18, 2024)

March 14, 2024 Update

Additional Resources for 2024–25 ISIR Delivery and Processing

  • On March 14, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that provides additional resources and highlights key guidance documents for institutions and vendors as they prepare to receive ISIRs and package financial aid offers for students in the coming weeks. As communicated earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education has begun transmitting larger batches of production ISIRs which should result in the majority of schools, states, and designated scholarship organizations receiving ISIRs in the coming days.

    To assist partners with installing EDconnect 8.6.1 to access transmitted production ISIRs, we have provided the EDconnect 8.6.1 Plain Language Installation Guide. This guide summarizes the steps most commonly used when setting up EDconnect. The instructions are written for organizations that currently use EDconnect and wish to keep their existing database.

    Note: If you are a new user to EDconnect or if you require more detailed instructions, refer to the EDconnect Installation and User Guide.

    Please read the full announcement for complete information.

March 18, 2024 Webinar – 2024–25 ISIRs: Transmission Support and Delivery Ramp Up

  • On March 18, 2024, from noon–1 p.m. Eastern time, join leadership from the Department and FSA for an update on the ramp up of delivery of 2024-25 ISIRs to institutions, state aid agencies, and designated scholarship organizations. In this webinar, we will answer some common questions and provide details on a new EDconnect 8.6.1 Plain Language Installation Guide and tips for ensuring SAIG transmission readiness. Refer to the Training Announcement for a complete description of the webinar, including the link to join on the day of the event.

March 13, 2024 Update

Update on Production 2024–25 ISIR Delivery

  • On March 13, 2024, we published an update to EA ID: GENERAL-24-20 announcing that we have begun transmitting a larger batch of ISIRs which should result in the majority of schools receiving at least one ISIR and many schools and states receiving dozens.

    Note: These are actual production ISIRs, not test ISIRs.

    In our March 4, 2024 Electronic Announcement (EA ID: GENERAL-24-17), we outlined that the transmission of ISIRs to institutions, state aid agencies, and designated scholarship organizations would begin in small batches to a limited subset of schools and states and increase in volume over a series of weeks. We are continuing to ramp up our operations to process applications and working with institutional and vendor partners to receive and import ISIRs.

Service Release Available for EDExpress 2024–25, Release 1.0 to Resolve ISIR Import Issue

  • A service release is now available for EDExpress 2024–25, Release 1.0 to resolve an error message that can occur when importing 2024–25 ISIRs. Users recently reported receiving the error message “Error Converting ‘N/A’ to type: “DateTime’. Using the format: ‘yyyyMMdd’” while importing 2024–25 test ISIR data files into Release 1.0, causing the import to fail. The service release resolves this issue. Please read the full announcement for all details and to download the service release file.

    Note: You must have EDExpress 2024–25, Release 1.0 installed on your PC before running the service release file.

March 12, 2024 Update

Update on Technical Fix to the 2024-25 FAFSA Form for Individuals Without a Social Security Number (SSN)

  • On March 12, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that provides an update on the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) commitment to resolving the known issues within the 2024–25 FAFSA online form impacting students who have a contributor without a Social Security number (SSN) in the first half of March. We have made technical updates that enable students with contributors without an SSN to now successfully submit the form. Some students in this scenario may still be encountering trouble submitting the form.

    The Department is aware of these issues and is working on resolutions. The Department is releasing a new tips document for students who have a contributor without an SSN to help ensure they can successfully navigate the form. Individuals may access the new tips document and sign up to receive updates from the Department on issues impacting students who have contributors without an SSN at https://www.ed.gov/FAFSAContributorUpdates.

    We will also update the 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts page to reflect the updates noted in the announcement.

Additional Details of 2024-25 ISIR Delivery, Updates for Non-SSN Contributors, and Launch of the FAFSA Partner Portal

  • On March 12, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that provides an update on the transmission of Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) that began over the weekend and is gradually ramping up. The announcement also provides summaries of resolved issues and some new issue alerts. Finally, the announcement outlines availability of new FAFSA-related functionality. Please read the full announcement for all details.

Important Information for EDconnect Users: tdclient.ini File Update Needed

  • On March 11, 2024, we published an update to EA ID: GENERAL-24-14 to describe an issue with the tdclient.ini file that is used by the EDconnect software. This issue prevents EDconnect from stripping the Network Headers and Trailers as expected. The file was fixed on March 11. EDconnect users that downloaded the tdclient.ini file from the FTI-TDCM prior to 4 p.m. ET on March 11 must select one of the two options described in the Issue Description document and complete the required steps.

March 8, 2024 Update

2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide (March 2024 Update #3)

On March 8, 2024, we published March 2024 Update #3 to the 2024-25 FAFSA Specifications Guide. With this update, we replaced the March 1 version of the system-generated ISIR file titled 2024–25 FPS Test ISIR Data System Created File with a new March 8 version of that file under Attachments for Volume 9 – Testing and Web Demo System. The Introduction and volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 remain unchanged.

Here are the updates made to the previous 2024–25 FPS Test ISIR Data System Created File:

  • Header and Trailer padded with space to increase record length

  • Verification Tracking group is populated when selected for verification

  • Student Assets are populated on dependent records

  • Parent/Spouse Federal Work-Study correctly set to 0

  • Independent records where Student did not file with current spouse now correctly using both the student and student spouse’s self-reported data in the SAI calculation

Notes:

  • The test ISIR data is not sent to Student Aid Information Gateway (SAIG) mailboxes.

  • The previous FTI-SAIG mailbox test that FSA conducted has concluded, and all test messages have been purged from FTI-SAIG mailboxes. As a reminder, the test messages included only a statement that this was a test; no test ISIR data was included.

  • To get test ISIR data, go to the FAFSA Specifications Guide.

Resources for Students and Families

March 5, 2024 Update

2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide (March 2024 Update #2)

On March 5, 2024, we published March 2024 Update #2 to the 2024-25 FAFSA Specifications Guide. With this update, we updated Volume 4 – Record Layouts and Processing Codes and the 2024–25 Final ISIR Record Layout in Excel Format. This is now the final version and has changed since we posted it on Feb. 16, 2024. The changes made to the ISIR Record Layout since its last posting are listed in the announcement and noted in the volume’s Change History Table on page viii. The Introduction and volumes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 remain unchanged.

StudentAid.gov Account Creation for Individuals without a Social Security Number Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA Processing Cycle

On March 5, 2024, we updated steps 2 and 3 of the account creation instructions in the Electronic Announcement to reflect the new process that automatically assigns and provides case numbers by email to those individuals who fail the TransUnion® process.

March 4, 2024 Update

Details of 2024–25 FAFSA Initial ISIR Delivery and Update on Support for Institutions and Vendors

  • On March 4, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that provides additional details on what to expect regarding the delivery of 2024–25 FAFSA Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) to institutions, state higher education agencies, and scholarship organizations as the Department prepares to begin processing forms in the first half of March. This update also provides resources for institutions and vendors that need support as they prepare to receive ISIRs and package financial aid offers for students in the coming weeks.

    We will provide ISIR Delivery Status updates at the top right of this page. We encourage our partners to sign up for Knowledge Center Subscription emails to receive the latest news on a daily or weekly basis.

    Note: As we begin our implementation of 2024–25 FAFSA processing, there may be intermittent system outages. We will provide information on planned outages as it is available. 

Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2024–25, Release 1.0

  • As announced in the March 4 Electronic Announcement, we have published the EDExpress for Windows 2024–25, Release 1.0 software and accompanying user guides. Release 1.0 contains Global, Application Processing, and Packaging functionality for the 2024–25 cycle. For information on installing the software, refer to the EDExpress 2024–25 Installation Guide. In addition, the Release 1.0 Cover Letter and Release 1.0 Desk Reference are available. The software and all users guides are available on the 2024-2025 EDExpress page in the Software and Other Tools area of the Knowledge Center website.

March 1, 2024 Update

Resetting of SAI Formula for 2024–25 Award Year

  • On March 1, 2024, the Extension of Continuing Appropriations and Other Matters Act, 2024 reset the Student Aid Index (SAI) formula established on the FAFSA Simplification Act for the 2024–25 award year to have a -$1,500 minimum threshold on the allowance for negative income earned by dependent students (e.g., the Student’s Contribution from Income). The threshold will be $0 for award years 2025-26 and beyond.

    Accordingly, the -$1,500 income floor for SAI Formula A will be reflected in the 2024–25 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) that are delivered to schools and state aid agencies in the first half of March. In addition, we have removed the updated version of the 2024-25 Student Aid Index (SAI) and Pell Grant Eligibility Guide added under “Attachments” on Feb. 27 and have reinstated the previous version of the guide in its place.

ISIR Test Data Files

  • On March 1, 2024, we added a new test data file of system-generated test ISIRs titled 2024–25 FPS Test ISIR Data System Created File to and replaced the additional 2024–25 Test ISIR Data File on the 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide publication.

SAIG Software Upgrade for FTI Data Transmission – Availability of EDconnect 8.6.1 (March 1, 2024 Update)

  • On March 1, 2024, we re-published the EDconnect 8.6.1 software after resolving an issue that impacted some users after the initial release on Feb. 27.

    The issue caused corruption of the user’s group profile, making it inaccessible, if the user attempted to log in with an invalid FT#. EDconnect 8.6.1 users who did not attempt an invalid FT# log-in were unaffected. However, to ensure the issue does not impact you in the future, please do not use the 8.6.1 software that was posted on Feb. 27 (EDconnect861.exe). Please download and install the updated version (EDconnect861fix.exe).

    Important: For users with an existing EDconnect installation, select the “Local Install – Custom” option to retain your database data. Detailed instructions are included in “Section 2.4 - Installing EDconnect” in the EDconnect 8.6.1 Installation and User Guide.

    Information about the EDconnect 8.6.1 software is available in the Feb. 27, 2024 Electronic Announcement.

Feb. 27, 2024 Update

Additional 2024–25 FAFSA Partner Preparation Support

  • On Feb. 27, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement about the Department’s continued partner preparation efforts related to the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) launch and upcoming transmission of Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). In the coming days, we will provide several types of additional support.

    Continue to monitor Knowledge Center and this 2024-25 FAFSA Updates page for forthcoming communications about all these support activities.

Technical Update to Student Aid Index (SAI) Formula

  • As explained in the Feb. 27 Electronic Announcement, we made a technical update to the Student Aid Index (SAI) formula to ensure full alignment with the FAFSA Simplification Act. The SAI formula for dependent students was previously calculated using a minimum threshold on the allowance for negative income earned by dependent students (e.g., the Student’s Contribution from Income). As we finalized preparation to deliver completed applications to schools in the first half of March, we identified that the bipartisan FAFSA Simplification Act did not specify an income floor for dependent students. Implementing a floor would be inconsistent with the letter of the law.

    The technical updates to SAI Formula A will be reflected in the Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) that are delivered to schools and state aid agencies in the first half of March. The specific change regarding dependents’ negative available income is at the top of page 9 in an updated version of the Student Aid Index (SAI) and Pell Grant Eligibility Guide under “Attachments.”

Test File Transmittal to Active FTI-SAIG Mailboxes

  • As explained in the Feb. 27 Electronic Announcement, this week we will transmit a test file to all active FTI-SAIG mailboxes. Active FTI-SAIG mailboxes have been assigned to partners who have signed and submitted the updated Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) enrollment agreement. In addition, the partner must have installed updated SAIG software to participate in the test.

    The purpose of the test is limited to assuring that a test file can be received in the active FTI-SAIG mailbox and retrieved by the associated partner. The test file will be sent in the SAIG message class ISRF25OP and its content will include the date sent and a message noting that it is a test file. The test file will not mimic an ISIR file and should not be downloaded into the partner’s system. Testing is optional.

    Note: If your organization has not yet completed the steps described in the Electronic Announcement Updated SAIG Enrollment Agreement Available Oct. 23, 2023 – Required Steps to Receive 2024–25 ISIRs, please act immediately to ensure your new FTI-SAIG mailbox is ready. In addition, updated SAIG software must be installed for your organization to access 2024–25 ISIRs. If you have questions, please contact the FPS Help Desk (formerly CPS/SAIG Technical Support) at 1-800-330-5947 or by email at support@fps.ed.gov.

Test Data File of 100 System-Generated ISIRs

  • As explained in the Feb. 27 Electronic Announcement, this week, we will release a test data file of approximately 100 system-generated test ISIRs. We will inform you of the release of this data once published on Knowledge Center.

Additional Test ISIRs and Open-Source Tools

  • As explained in the Feb. 27 Electronic Announcement, we will continue to update additional test ISIRs and open-source tools stored in a public U.S. Department of Education GitHub repository.

    Details of these changes can be found in the changelog in the repository. In addition, we will inform you when the updates to the additional test ISIRs have been published on Knowledge Center.

SAIG Software Upgrade for FTI Data Transmission – Availability of EDconnect 8.6.1, Updated Documentation, and Password Guidance

  • On Feb. 27, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement announcing an updated version of the EDconnect software (version 8.6.1) that is now available on the Software and Other Tools page of the Knowledge Center website, along with an updated EDconnect Installation and User Guide. Additionally, we are providing a new resource about SAIG passwords and updated user documentation for the FTI-TDCommunity Manager (FTI-TDCM).

    As we have informed SAIG users in multiple Electronic Announcements, upgraded software is required to receive ISIRs in a new FTI-SAIG mailbox for the 2024–25 award year and beyond.

    Please refer to the announcement for important information about the updated SAIG software and documentation.

Feb. 23, 2024 Update

New Q&A Webinar Added for April 18, 2024

  • On Feb. 22, 2024, we announced the addition of a third webinar for schools in the Better (FAFSA®) Better Future Q&A Webinar Series, scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 2024. Refer to the updated Training Announcement for a complete description of the webinar, including the link to join on the day of the event.

Issue Alerts Update

  • We have updated the 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts page by updating existing items and adding a new item. The updated and new items include the date “(Feb. 23, 2024)” at the end of the issue title.

Resources for Students and Families

CAUTION

Students should only use these tips to help submit the 2024-25 FAFSA form to meet critical deadlines for non-federal aid, as these instructions will result in an incomplete FAFSA submission that must be corrected at a later date.

Feb. 20, 2024 Update

Flexibility on Recertification for PPAs Expiring March, June, or September 2024

  • On Feb. 13, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that highlights additional steps the Department is executing as part of the FAFSA College Support Strategy to help colleges process student records faster and more efficiently. One of those steps provides flexibility on recertification by waiving the requirement that a school recertify eligibility no later than 90 days before the school’s Program Participation Agreement (PPA) expires. A school whose PPA expires in March, June, or September 2024 will have until the expiration day to submit a recertification application.

    FSA is making the FSA Partner Connect system updates needed to email notifications and dashboard reminders associated with recertification. Until all system updates are in place, schools may receive messages that appear to conflict with the Department’s Feb. 13 recertification flexibility guidance. We regret any confusion caused by these communications and appreciate the financial aid community’s understanding that the recertification flexibility guidance stands.

Feb. 16, 2024 Update

Additional 2024–25 Test ISIR Data File and Other Tools Available

  • On Feb. 16, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement about publication of additional test ISIRs. The new test ISIR data file contains fictitious student records with realistic field values for eight different scenarios; testing is optional. In addition, we have begun publishing open-source tools to help colleges, third-party servicers, and software vendors with their testing and preparations for the 2024-25 ISIRs:

    The test ISIRs and open-source tools are stored in a public Department of Education GitHub repository. Those interested in these materials can access this repository to view and download files. We strongly encourage use of GitHub as any updates to test files and the tools are likely to first appear there.

    As noted in the Electronic Announcement, these new test ISIRs are also available as an attachment to the 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide on the Knowledge Center website. Locate the file under “Attachments” for Volume 9 – Testing and Web Demo System. In addition, we updated Volume 4 – Record Layouts and Processing Codes and the 2024–25 Final ISIR Record Layout in Excel Format and they are now final. The changes made to the record layout since its last posting are noted in the volume’s Change History Table.

    Continue to monitor Knowledge Center and this 2024-25 FAFSA Updates page for forthcoming communications.

Issue Alerts

  • We have updated the 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts page by updating the status of items. The resolved items include the tag “(Resolved Feb. 12, 2024)” at the end of the issue title.

Feb. 13, 2024 Update

2024-25 Award Year Flexibilities and Letter to Presidents

  • On Feb. 13, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that highlights additional steps the Department is executing as part of the FAFSA College Support Strategy to help colleges process student records faster and more efficiently. In addition, the Secretary is sending a letter via email to leadership at all institutions of higher education alerting them to the support and services available to them under the FAFSA College Support Strategy.

    To request additional resources, email CollegeSupportStrategy-FAFSA@ed.gov.

    Continue to monitor Knowledge Center and this 2024-25 FAFSA Updates page for forthcoming communications.

Feb. 9, 2024 Update

Submit SAIG Enrollment Agreement by Feb. 23, 2024, to Receive 2024–25 ISIRs

  • If your organization has not yet completed the steps described in the Electronic Announcement Updated SAIG Enrollment Agreement Available Oct. 23, 2023 – Required Steps to Receive 2024–25 ISIRs, please act immediately to ensure your new FTI-SAIG mailbox is ready. SAIG enrollment agreements submitted after Feb. 23 may not be processed in time to receive 2024–25 ISIRs when we begin transmitting them next month. In addition, updated SAIG software must be installed for your organization to access 2024–25 ISIRs. We appreciate the work of many organizations that have completed the necessary steps. If you have questions, please contact the FPS Help Desk (formerly CPS/SAIG Technical Support) at 1-800-330-5947 or by email at support@fps.ed.gov.

Additional Information on FAFSA College Support Strategy

Feb. 6, 2024 Update

U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA College Support Strategy

  • On Feb. 5, 2024, the Department released a FAFSA College Support Strategy to provide additional personnel, funding, resources, and technology to help schools and students complete the better FAFSA® form, and to help colleges prepare to package students’ financial aid as quickly and accurately as possible.

    On Feb. 6, 2024, we published an Electronic Announcement that kicks off Knowledge Center communications around the FAFSA College Support Strategy. In the coming days and weeks, we will share more information about how schools can access these additional resources. At this time, the email address CollegeSupportStrategy-FAFSA@ed.gov has been established to serve as the means through which schools will submit their requests for the additional resources.

    Continue to monitor Knowledge Center and this 2024-25 FAFSA Updates page for forthcoming communications.

Feb. 2, 2024 Update

Issue Alerts

  • We have updated the 2024-25 FAFSA Issue Alerts page by adding new items. The new items include the tag “(Added Feb. 2, 2024)” at the end of the issue title.

Resources for Students and Families

  • StudentAid.gov article: Pro Tips for the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form

    Learn some pro tips that will help students and families successfully complete the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

Jan. 30, 2024 Update

2024-25 FAFSA Student Aid Index Update and Timeline

  • In a Jan. 30, 2024 Electronic Announcement, we provided an important update regarding the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process. The Electronic Announcement provides further details regarding aid eligibility and the post-processing experience for students, institutions, state higher education agencies, and scholarship organizations.

    More specifically, we updated the supporting tables used in the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation to account for inflationary adjustments as required under the law. These tables, which directly impact eligibility for need-based federal student aid, detail the allowances against income and assets reported by students and families on their FAFSA form. The revised tables are included in the final Student Aid Index (SAI) and Pell Grant Eligibility Guide.

    In the coming weeks, our teams will be updating the Federal Processing System (FPS) to include the updated tables. Based upon estimations for completing that work, we will begin transmitting batches of FAFSA information (ISIRs) to schools and state agencies in the first half of March, which will include the updated SAI tables. We anticipate catching up with the majority of ISIR transmissions to schools in the weeks following the beginning of ISIR delivery.

FTI-SAIG Mailbox: How to Grant Additional User Access

  • In a Jan. 29, 2024, update to the Electronic Announcement Updated SAIG Enrollment Agreement Available Oct. 23, 2023 – Required Steps to Receive 2024–25 ISIRs, we describe the process by which, under limited conditions, an organization may grant additional users access to their FTI-SAIG mailbox, in addition to the DPA and PDPA. After reviewing the important information about the conditions under which access may be granted, PDPAs must follow the instructions in the updated Electronic Announcement to complete the required steps.

Jan. 2, 2024 Update

Reminders

  • 2024–25 FAFSA Soft Launch Details and Timelines

    We informed the financial aid community on Dec. 31, 2023 that the Department has started the soft launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA form, where the form will be available for periods of time over the coming days while we monitor site performance and respond in real time to any potential issues impacting the applicant experience. During the soft launch we will be initiating pauses to the site, during which time the form will not be available while our team makes improvements. 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 when the soft launch period opens.

    Leading up to and during the soft launch, we uncovered some minor issues affecting users at various points in the application process, which is to be expected with the launch of a major new website. We are addressing these issues concurrently and will continue to monitor for additional issues users may encounter while we conduct the soft launch.

  • StudentAid.gov Account Creation for Individuals without a Social Security Number

    In a Dec. 22, 2023 announcement, FSA outlined changes to the StudentAid.gov account creation process for individuals without a social security number (SSN). These changes, set to take effect beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA cycle, will require all contributors (student, parent, student’s spouse, parent’s spouse) to have a StudentAid.gov account to access and sign the online FAFSA form.

    This process is now in place, and we encourage contributors to Create an Account on StudentAid.gov in advance of completing the FAFSA form.

Published Communications

Resources for Institutions, Financial Aid Administrators, College Access Professionals and Other External Partners

  • Presentation: Creating and Using Your StudentAid.gov Account

    Updated in December 2023, this presentation provides an overview of the StudentAid.gov account, including how to create it, where it can be used, and how to troubleshoot some common errors.

Resources for Students and Families

  • StudentAid.gov article: Can I Create a StudentAId.gov account if I don’t have a SSN?

    If you are a parent or spouse of a student applying for aid, or a student who is a citizen of the Freely Associated States, and you don’t have a Social Security number, learn about creating an account without a Social Security number (SSN). 

Dec. 22, 2023 Update

Published Communications

Resources for Institutions, Financial Aid Administrators, College Access Professionals and Other External Partners

Resources for Students and Families

Dec. 15, 2023 Update

2024–25 FAFSA Soft Launch Details and Timelines

  • In a Dec. 15, 2023 announcement, FSA expanded upon previously shared information about the timeline of the 2024–25 FAFSA form launch and shared additional details for what applicants and families can expect through February 2024.

    As previously announced, students and families will be able to complete and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form online by Dec. 31. We will be treating the period leading up to and following Dec. 31 as a soft launch period, which will allow us to monitor and respond in real time to any potential issues impacting the applicant experience.

Technical Documentation

  • 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide (December 2023 Update #2)

    With this December 2023 Update #2, we have updated Volume 2 – FPS Schedule and Getting Help, Volume 3Electronic Data Exchange and FAFSA Processing, and Volume 6 – ISIR Guide; these are now final. We also have updated Volume 5 – Edits and Rejects that was initially published as final on Dec. 7, 2023; the changes made since Dec. 7th are noted in the volume’s Change History Table. The Introduction and volumes 1, 4, 7, 8, and 9 remain unchanged.

    As a reminder, we began publishing early draft volumes of the 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide in December 2022 and updated the early drafts as we could through October 2023. In late November 2023, we began to publish final versions of the volumes. Look for the word—“Draft” or “Final”—at the beginning of each volume description for that volume’s status.

Test ISIR Data and Web Demo Site for 2024–2025

  • FAFSA and ISIR testing with FSA is not required; however, many schools and software providers have used our test ISIR data and Web Demo site tools to help ensure that their student aid system is prepared for the ISIR data that will be produced by our processing system and to familiarize their staff with the web options available to both applicants and FAAs.

  • Test ISIR Data – We posted a test ISIR data file under message class IDSA25OP in October 2023. This initial file included a limited number of simulated 2024–25 student records. Later in 2024, we plan to replace the initial file with an expanded version that contains multiple records and a more robust sampling of applicant scenarios, including multiple transactions, parent data, and spouse data.

  • Web Demo Site – Due to timing constraints related to implementing the 2024-25 FAFSA, we will not be able to provide a Web Demo Site this award year. We appreciate partners’ understanding and are committed to continuing to make other resources available that can be used to familiarize staff with the web options available to both applicants and FAAs.

Published Communications

Resources for Students and Families

  • StudentAid.gov Article: Reporting Parent Information

    Dependent students must provide information about their legal parent(s) on their FAFSA form. Read this article to determine which parent may need to participate in the student’s FAFSA form as a contributor.

  • StudentAid.gov Article: Eligibility for Non-U.S. Citizens

    As part of the general eligibility requirements to qualify for federal student aid, students must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. Learn more about eligible citizen and noncitizens statuses in this article.

  • StudentAid.gov Article: Aid for Military Families

    Learn about the types of aid available to veterans, future military personnel, active-duty personnel, or those related to veterans or active-duty personnel.

  • Students are eligible to complete the FAFSA form without parent information if they meet the definition of a homeless and unaccompanied youth, or unaccompanied, self-supporting and at risk of homelessness.

Dec. 8, 2023 Update

Technical Documentation

  • 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide (December 2023 Update #1)

    With this December 2023 Update #1, we have updated Volume 7 – Comment Codes, Volume 8Agency Matches, and Volume 9 – Testing and Web Demo System; these are now final. The Introduction and Volume 1 are also now final. The Introduction has not changed since we posted it on Dec. 28, 2022. Volume 1 has not changed since we posted it on Sept. 25, 2023. Volume 2 through Volume 6 remain unchanged.

    As a reminder, we began publishing early draft volumes of the 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide in December 2022 and updated the early drafts as we could through October 2023. In late November 2023, we began to publish final versions of the volumes. Look for the word—“Draft” or “Final”—at the beginning of each volume description for that volume’s status.

Published Communications

Resources for Institutions, Financial Aid Administrators, College Access Professionals and Other External Partners

  • Recorded Training: 2023 Virtual Federal Student Aid Training Conference

    Access on-demand training on topics related to the 2024-25 FAFSA launch:

    Session GS4 – Federal Update

    Session GS5 – FAFSA Update

    Session BO10 – Data Use and Considerations Under the FUTURE Act and FAFSA Simplification Act

    Session BO13 – FAFSA Simplification: Application and Need Analysis

    Session BO15 – Calculating a Federal Pell Grant

    Note: To access the on-demand sessions, log in to the 2023 Virtual FSA Training Conference Event Platform and navigate to the “On-Demand” page from the main menu.

Nov. 27, 2023 Update

Technical Documentation

  • 2024–25 FAFSA Specifications Guide (November 2023 Update)

    With this November 2023 update, we have updated Volume 5Edits and Rejects, and it is now final. We have also posted the standalone final ISIR record layout in Excel format. The layout has not changed since we posted it on Oct. 10, 2023. The Introduction, Volumes 1 through 4, and Volumes 6 through 9 are unchanged.

    Note: The current 2024-25 ISIR record layout is the final version as of today’s date. The layout has not changed since we posted it on Oct. 10, 2023. While some minor edits to the field values may occur in the future, users should consider the current version “final” and ready for development and testing. If updates to the final file are necessary, the updated file will be posted to the 2024-25 FAFSA Specifications Guide publication page.

Published Communications

Resources for Institutions, Financial Aid Administrators, College Access Professionals and Other External Partners

  • Recorded Training: StudentAid.gov Account Creation Process for Users Without an SSN

    Watch this recorded webinar for a preview of the new account creation process for users without a Social Security number (SSN), which will be available when the 2024-25 FAFSA form opens.

    Note: To access recorded webinars, log in to the FSA Training Center and select FAFSA Simplification.

Resources for Students and Families

  • StudentAid.gov Announcement: Launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA Form

    Point students and families to this resource to get general information about the 2024-25 FAFSA launch, what they need to know, and what they can do now to prepare.

  • StudentAid.gov Article: Dependency Status

    Help students determine if they are considered independent or dependent, and whose information they must report when they fill out the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

Nov. 15, 2023 Update

Last Modified: 04/16/2024 • Published: 11/15/2023