FAFSA/CADAA Changes 2024-25

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act (CADAA) applications for the 2024-2025 aid year!

Last updated: November 15, 2023

2024-2025 FAFSA Available on December 31, 2023

Important First Steps for Students and Parents

Note: Below is about new students, spouses, and parents who don’t already have FSA IDs. If the parent and student have already completed a FAFSA in the past, you already have an FSA ID.

To complete a FAFSA application, students and parents must create an FSA ID, which is used to sign in and complete a FAFSA application. Parents and students can create an FSA ID anytime, and our office encourages you to complete this step as soon as possible.

      *Parents with no social security number (SSN) can create an FSA ID when the FAFSA 2024-25 launches on December 31, 2023. 

You can create your FSA ID.  An FSA ID consists of a username and password you create to gain access to the U.S. Department of Education's online systems. An FSA ID can also serve as your legal signature when completing electronic documents. 

What's changing with the FAFSA?

There are several benefits of the New FAFSA:

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won't be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.

Parents with no social security number can create an FSA ID account when the FAFSA 2024-25 application is launched on December 31, 2023. Parents are able to create an account with the help of Transunion.

What you will need to create an FSA ID username and password:

  • Personal information, including your parent’s name and date of birth.
  • If your parent has no social security number, there will be a box to check.
  • An email address. Each email must be unique to one user; for example, students and a parent cannot use the same email.
  • A mailing address is required as it will be used to verify your parent’s identity, your parent must be living, have lived or own the property at this address. A foreign address can be used.
  • A US phone number, if not leave blank.
  • Your parent will have to create challenge questions in case they need to reset their account.
  • Your parent will need to answer knowledge-based questions to verify their identity.

If your parent answers all the questions correctly, their account will be created instantly, and is ready for use to start filling out their portion of the FAFSA immediately.

If your parent answers one or more of their identity verification questions incorrectly, they will have to contact the FSA Office at 1 (800) 433-3243. A customer service representative will look up their account and initiate the identity verification process again.

The account holder will receive an email with a case number and instructions for providing the proper documentation for them to verify their identity.

They will be required to provide the following to establish their identity:

  • A Completed Attestation form. This will either be provided in the email once your case is created or may be available at studentaid.gov website.
  • Proof of identity
    • One of the following forms of ID
      • Driver’s License
      • State or City ID Card
      • A Foreign Passport (must be active, cannot use expired)
    • Or a utility bill AND one of the following:
      • A Municipal ID Card
      • A Community ID Card
      • A Consular ID Card

Once you've submitted your documents, the Federal Student Aid office will send an email confirmation of your identity verification within one to three days, so you can proceed with the FAFSA application without delay.

Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons on the FAFSA will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange to share tax information or confirm non-filing status. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.

A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID (if they don't already have one) to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. Each contributor would need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return. 

Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.

When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.

WHAT'S CHANGING WITH THE CADAA?

Starting with the 2024-25 CA Dream Act Application (CADAA), students will experience a more streamlined financial aid process as they will be able to submit both their CADAA and AB 540 affidavit form (also known as the nonresident tuition exemption form) at the same time.

Following the progress of Assembly Bill 1540, the commission will embed the questions for the determination of non-resident tuition exemption (commonly referred to as AB 540 affidavit) within the CADAA and provide a mechanism to allow institutions to collect a student’s answers to the AB 540 affidavit.

NOTE: California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will not issue the AB 540 status. It will be the Admissions and Records department at Reedley College. 

The Commission is working to build the parental signature into the original submission, which may eliminate the separate PIN creation process.

The questions will be optional and will not impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. The data obtained will be used for Commission research purposes only.

What isn’t changing?

While the FAFSA/CADAA is receiving an update, several aid-related matters will not change.

  • The general types of aid available to Reedley College students and federal student loan limits will not change.
  • The FAFSA/CADAA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA/CADAA will remain the same.
  • The FAFSA/CADAA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you'll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024-25 application.
  • The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race, and ethnicity will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and are included for statistical purposes and data collection only. In fact, Reedley College won't even receive this data from the FAFSA/CADAA.

Disclaimer

Reedley College Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. Due to the significant changes occurring, portions of our website may not yet be 100% accurate for the 2024-2025 academic year. We'll continue to update this page as we receive more information from the Department of Education, California Student Aid Commission, and Federal Student Aid, and we appreciate your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.