The federal government passed legislation known as the FAFSA Simplification Act that has resulted in a major overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal financial aid. This law affects every college and university in the US that participates in federal student aid programs.

Due to these changes, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) was released in December 2023. The 2024-2025 FAFSA® is now available for completion at the Federal Student Aid website.

Even with the application launching in December, there will still be plenty of time to complete the FAFSA®. At Juniata, we ask that you submit your 2024-2025 FAFSA® by Monday, April 1, 2024. Students receiving Pennsylvania State Grants must submit prior to May 1, 2024, to be eligible for the 2024-2025 academic year.


Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the FAFSA changing?

The federal government passed the FAFSA Simplification Act to provide students and families with a more streamlined application process, expand eligibility for federal financial aid, simplify the application process, and reduce barriers. The changes taking place are mandated by law and impact all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid.

How will federal financial aid eligibility change with the new FAFSA?

  • Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and they will experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid.
  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • The SAI removes a family’s number of students in college from the calculation. This may reduce federal need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.
  • The FAFSA Simplification Act expands the Federal Pell Grant to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
  • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
  • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as a primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in a student’s need analysis calculation.

What are the specific changes to the FAFSA form?

  • There are fewer questions on the new FAFSA form, decreasing from 108 to 36 questions. Below, please find the changes that have taken place on the new form. 
  • Contributors who are responsible for providing information for the FAFSA will notified when the student completes their portion of the application. The FAFSA will not be complete until all contributors finish and submit their portion of application.  
  • For students whose parents are separated or divorced, the guidance on which parent income to report has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.  
  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been replaced with the Federal Taxpayer Information (FTI). Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents will now need to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility. This consent will allow the IRS to share FTI through a direct data exchange. If any party to the FAFSA does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, which is necessary to determine student financial aid. 
  • Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for a Federal Student Aid ID. This will speed up FAFSA processing time as the parents will be able to submit the form online, rather than submitting a paper application.  
  • Male students under the age of 26 are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System to receive federal financial aid.

How do I access the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

Students should initiate their submission of their 2024-2025 FAFSA by accessing the form at

What is the deadline to submit the FAFSA at Juniata College?

At Juniata, we ask that you submit your 2024-2025 FAFSA by Monday, April 1, 2024. Students receiving Pennsylvania State Grants must submit prior to May 1, 2024, to be eligible for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Is there anything I can do to prepare for the new FAFSA?

  • Did you fill out a FAFSA form for 2023–2024? Log in to your account and verify that your email address is accurate. The federal government will email you at this address when the new FAFSA is available for 2024–25. 
  • Are you new to the FAFSA form and intend to apply for 2024–2025? Get an early start on the process and create your account. Remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024–2025 FAFSA form when it is available.

How can I find out more information about the new FAFSA?