FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid starting with the 2024-2025 award year, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

Despite significant changes to the FAFSA, Wesleyan University is committed to providing need-based aid and will continue to meet the full demonstrated need of all families applying for financial aid. Families applying for financial aid will not see a change to Wesleyan’s institutional aid calculation but may see a change to the source of the self-help (work-study) portion of their award.

The Financial Aid Office is working to implement the changes required by FAFSA Simplification and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

When will the 2024-2025 FAFSA be available?

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available in December 2023. This is a one-time change from the usual October 1 release date and will have implications for how some students apply for aid for 2024-2025.

What are the changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

  • Streamlining the FAFSA form
    Where possible, the FAFSA will use data received directly from the IRS to calculate federal aid eligibility. The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been replaced by the Direct Data Exchange (DDX) and the number of people eligible for DDX with the IRS has been expanded. The streamlined application now requires families to answer fewer than 50 questions.
  • New calculation of federal aid eligibility

    Federal aid eligibility will be determined using a new methodology tied to Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The new methodology will increase eligibility for Federal Pell Grants. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI).

    The Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation allows a minimum SAI of negative $1,500 (-$1,500). The SAI is not your expected contribution so a negative SAI does not indicate that you will receive that amount in additional aid, instead it gives financial aid administrators more insight when making determinations into families with especially challenging situations.

  • Consent is required from all FAFSA contributors
    Student, spouse, and parent(s) are now required to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA. If any party does not provide consent, the FAFSA cannot be completed, and the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation cannot take place.
  • New FSA ID requirement
    All contributors to the FAFSA will be required to create their own FSA ID. A new process will allow parents without a social security number to obtain an FSA ID. The FSA ID is considered your legal digital signature and is required to sign the FAFSA.
  • Modifications to parent and family definitions in FAFSA formulas

    The new FAFSA changes the parent of record in families with divorced or separated parents. Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the parent who provides the most financial support for the student will complete the FAFSA regardless of living arrangements. If financial support is evenly split between both parents, the parent with the higher income is required to provide their information on the FAFSA.

    The College Board has announced that the 2024-2025 CSS Profile will reflect the FAFSA changes to parent of record and number in family, meaning the parent of record on the CSS Profile may change in instances of divorced/separated parents. Beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year, Wesleyan University will be required to collect documentation from both custodial and noncustodial households every year a family applies for institutional financial aid.

    The number in household is now the number in family and will be aligned with what is reported on the student/parent tax returns.

  • Elimination of the allowance for siblings enrolled in college
    Although the 2024-2025 FAFSA will ask if there are siblings enrolled in college, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be adjusted to reflect multiple students in college. If you have siblings in college in 2024-2025, you may see a decrease in your federal aid due to this change. Please note that Wesleyan University will still consider the number of students enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs when awarding need-based institutional aid.
  • Updated guidelines for reporting special and/or unusual circumstances

    Special circumstances refer to financial situations that justify an aid administrator adjusting data in the Cost of Attendance and/or SAI calculation (i.e. job loss, excessive medical expenses, separation/divorce, etc.). Request a professional judgement based on special circumstances by submitting the Request for Reconsideration form and relevant supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

    Unusual circumstances refer to conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (i.e. parental abandonment, incarceration, documented abuse, etc.), more commonly referred to as a dependency override. Requests for a professional judgement for unusual circumstances must include adequate documentation that substantiates the unusual circumstances of an individual student. Please contact your Financial Aid Director for the required documentation for your specific situation.

    Students who are in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or are considered to be unaccompanied youth – as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information – will be able to complete the form with a provisional independent student determination and receive a calculated SAI. Students with provisional independent status will be required to submit documentation supporting their status to the Financial Aid Office, and a final determination will be made within 60 days after the applicant enrolls at Wesleyan.


Changes to Wesleyan’s financial aid application for 2024-2025

  • Prospective students applying for admission in Quest Bridge and Early Decision 1
    Prospective students applying for admission in Quest Bridge and Early Decision 1 will not be able to complete the FAFSA as part of their initial financial aid application. Admitted students will receive an estimated financial aid offer based on the CSS Profile and parent/student tax documentation submitted through IDOC. A final aid offer will be provided at a later date after the 2024-2025 FAFSA becomes available and is submitted to Wesleyan.
    • Will the final aid offer be adjusted by the FAFSA submission?
      After completing the FAFSA, student loan and work-study sources will be specified as either subsidized or unsubsidized loan and federal or institutional work-study. Changes to the family contribution will only occur if data received in the FAFSA indicates there was an error in the CSS Profile data on which the estimated offer was based.
  • Prospective students applying for Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision
    Prospective students applying for Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision admission rounds will be able to complete the FAFSA as part of their Wesleyan financial aid application.
  • Continuing students at Wesleyan
    Continuing students at Wesleyan should complete the CSS Profile and submit tax documentation to IDOC by the November 15th deadline and complete the FAFSA in December 2023 when it becomes available.
    • Due to FAFSA changes, noncustodial parents will be required to complete the CSS Profile and submit tax documentation on a yearly basis starting with the 2024-2025 financial aid application.