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FAFSA Simplification

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the upcoming 2024–2025 aid year. The Cal Poly Financial Aid Office is dedicated to keeping students, families, supporters and our campus community updated, so this page will be updated as additional information is made available.

Why is the FAFSA changing?

Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act in Dec. 27, 2020. The law includes provisions that amend the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act and includes the FAFSA Simplification Act — a redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. The law makes it easier for students and their families to complete and submit the FAFSA and expands access to federal student aid.

What about the FAFSA is changing?

2024-25 Application Availability and Troubleshooting

Normally the FAFSA becomes available on October 1, but the 2024-2025 FAFSA opened in December 2023 and has experienced a variety of technical issues that may prevent students from submitting the application.

If you have not filed your initial application, we recommend doing so now. 

The Department of Education has resolved many of the application's technical issues and has restored the ability of applicants to make corrections. If your application requires a correction (e.g. missing signature, missing parental data, etc.), please log back in and retry. Refer to this guide for how to correct common issues.

For reference, please review Federal Student Aid’s:

The priority submission deadline has been extended to May 2, 2024.

Application Streamlined

You’ll notice fewer questions when completing the 2024-2025 FAFSA and a simpler process for transferring tax information directly from the IRS.

New Terminology

You’ll notice a few new terms like "contributor" (anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA, such as a parent or student’s spouse) and "consent" (each contributor will need to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA). Also, the term "Expected Family Contribution (EFC)" will be replaced with the "Student Aid Index (SAI)"–this is a new need analysis formula that we will use when awarding need-based grants and scholarships.

Do these changes impact the California Dream Act Application (CADAA)?

There will be some changes to the CADAA to mirror the updates to FAFSA. Like the FAFSA, the CADAA for 2024-2025 will be released in December 2023. The priority submission deadline has been extended to April 2, 2024. We will update this page with any information from the California Student Aid Commission regarding additional changes.

How can you prepare?

  • Add a calendar reminder to complete your FAFSA at the end of February.
  • Sign up for your FSAID - it's required for the 2024-25 FAFSA. If you already have one, perfect! If you don’t, don’t worry, here are instructions for creating one.
  • Check this page for updates. As more information and resources become available, we will share them here.

Resources for Students

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Information sessions for faculty and staff provide information about the updated timeline, new terminology, major application changes, and anticipated impact to students and programs.

Watch a recorded information session


Questions about completing certain parts of the application? Learn more at the Federal Student Aid site or contact the Cal Poly Financial Aid Office.