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FAFSA: Updates to aid index and timeline announced

Tue, 01/30/2024

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it will begin transmitting batches of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) information - known as the Institutional Student Information Record or ISIR- to schools and state agencies in March. 

Students will be able to make corrections to their form beginning in March, the department said in a Jan. 30 press release, as they continue to test several vendor-built systems

The Department has also updated the supporting tables used in the Student Aid Index, which replaced the Expected Family Contribution formula that accounts for inflation. The updated SAI tables will allow students to benefit from an additional $1.8 billion in aid and ensure that all students can access the maximum financial aid they are eligible for.

“The Better FAFSA makes it as simple and easy as possible for families to get help paying for college, and updating our tables will help even more students get the help they need” said Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal in the press release. “Updating our calculations will help students qualify for as much financial aid as possible. Thank you to the financial aid advisers, college counselors, and many others helping us put students first.”

The Department noted that more than 3.1 million forms have been successfully submitted since the 2024–25 redesigned application went live on Dec. 30.

The launch of the simplified, redesigned, and streamlined 2024–25 FAFSA form ensures 610,000 more students from low-income backgrounds receive Federal Pell Grants. Additionally, Pell recipients will receive more aid with nearly 1.5 million more students receiving the maximum Pell Grant. The new FAFSA is the most significant overhaul of the FAFSA form since its inception, almost four decades ago.

The Department is providing helpful tools and information for students and parents on and is also sending email notifications to previous FAFSA applicants who have not yet submitted a 2024–25 FAFSA form. The Department also provides resources and support for counselors, mentors, college access organizations, postsecondary schools, and state agencies through webinars and updates on FSA Partner Connect.

Additional resources: Visit the CHE South Carolina Commission on Higher Education YouTube channel to see our New FAFSA Explained video series.