After long delay, FAFSA applications will be made available Dec. 31st

14 December 2023- The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is encouraging college-bound students and their families to prepare for the launch of the newly updated 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), which will be available on December 31, 2023.

The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year is typically available on October 1, but it was delayed this year as the FAFSA underwent changes as a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act. The new process is intended to streamline the financial aid application process. The new FAFSA will use the IRS Data Exchange to link tax information into your application, expand access to Federal Pell Grants, and have updated student aid calculations.

“I believe that the delay will be worth it,” said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board Chairman. “The new FAFSA is expected to be easier for students and families to navigate. For those who have challenging situations and circumstances, our PHEAA Higher Education Access Partners are available to guide students and their families through the process.”

The delay has also given student and their families more time to prepare. Every applicant needs their StudentAid.gov Account, or FSA ID, to successfully submit their FAFSA. This is a username and password combination used to log in to U.S. Department of Education (ED) online systems. Students and parents will each need their own unique StudentAid.gov Account number; they should not create one on the other’s behalf. They must visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid/createaccount/launch to create their own accounts. They’ll need their Social Security number, full name, date of birth, along with a mobile phone number or email.

“You should never make the assumption that you won’t receive aid,” said James H. Steeley, PHEAA President and CEO. “Most students receive some type of financial aid, so it is critical that everyone who plans to attend college submit the FAFSA. Check with your school to see when our financial aid experts will be hosting a Financial Aid Night in your area, as this is an opportunity for one-on-one guidance through this process.”

Additional FAFSA Overview Line by Line virtual webinars will be held in early 2024, with the first one scheduled for February 21. There are also a variety of virtual financial aid and FAFSA webinars coming up. Registration is available at pheaa.org/virtual/. Students and families can also visit PHEAA’s Financial Aid Resources Page at pheaa.org/tools-resources/parents-students/index.shtml for additional assistance regarding the information needed for the entire financial aid process.