Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA 2024-25 has Changed!

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be pushed back from October 1, 2023, and will launch by December 31, 2023. This change only applies to the 24-25 application, and future applications will return to the original October 1 date.

On Dec. 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law includes provisions regarding the FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. Specifically, the law makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as well as expands access to federal student aid. Due to the significant changes, the FAFSA opening date for the 2024-2025 award year will be delayed.

UPDATE: The 24-25 FAFSA is now open and available. There may be pauses for site maintenance or to make technical updates as needed to provide a better experience.

What Happens After You Submit

  • Once you complete your application, you’ll receive an email confirming that the Dept. of Ed has received your form with preliminary information related to your eligibility for federal student aid. This will include your estimated Student Aid Index (SAI) and estimated eligibility for Federal Pell Grants.
  • Bellarmine will receive your FAFSA information in the first half of March.
  • Students will receive an email when their FAFSA information has been sent to Bellarmine and when you can access your FAFSA Submission Summary on
  • Any corrections needed to be made to your FAFSA can be submitted in the first half of March.


Additional Information:

2024-2025 FAFSA

New Terminology

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is now referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI), which reduces the number of income items and allowances against income; changes items included as assets; and changes family size definition and removes number in college.
  • A Contributor is anyone who is required to provide consent of their information on the FAFSA form. This always includes the student, but may also include the student’s spouse, Parent, Other Parent, or Preparer.
  • Parent 1 and Parent 2 are now referred to as Parent and Other Parent.
  • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), which allowed students and parents who filed a U.S. tax return with the IRS to access and transfer their tax data directly into the FAFSA, is now referred to as the Direct Data Exchange (DDX), which shares federal tax information (FTI) with the Department of Education and the schools listed on the FAFSA.
  • A Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA, which includes your EFC and your estimated aid eligibility will now be referred to as the FAFSA Submission Summary.

FSA (Federal Student Aid) ID Changes

  • Student and parent(s) must have an FSA ID.
    • Some cases may require both parents to create an FSA ID. (If parents file taxes separately, both will need the FSA ID.)
  • Must create up to 2 weeks prior
  • verify by email address AND phone number.
  • Parents with NO SSN (Social Security Number) can still create an FSA ID using ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) or a knowledge-based identity verification through TransUnion. (Strict privacy restrictions for undocumented parents/FSA will only use for purposes of determining financial aid.
  • Contributors can apply for an FSA ID now at

FAFSA Contributor and Consent

A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on an applicant’s FAFSA including:

  • The student
  • The student's spouse (if applicable)
  • A biological or adoptive parent; or
  • The spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA--the stepparent

The new FAFSA is student driven, so that means the student's answers on their section will determine who will be a contributor (in addition to the student). Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and valid email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA. Each contributor will need to provide consent of personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA.  The last contributor to finish will submit the FAFSA. If no contributors log in and participate, in 45 days the FAFSA will be deleted. If no consent is provided, the student is not eligible for Title IV aid.

All contributors are required to have a FSA ID and to provide consent to have their Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), have their tax data used to determine a student's eligibility for federal student aid, and allow the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to share their tax information with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV aid. Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked in that award year. This consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country.

If a dependent student's parents are unmarried and living together, both parents will be contributors, will need to have separate FSA IDs, and need to provide consent. Dependent students whose parents filed their U.S. income tax return as Married Filing Jointly only require one parent contributor to complete the FAFSA. If the student's parents filed separately, both parents will be considered contributors and therefore need separate FSA IDs, and both must provide consent.

If an independent student is married and filed separately, both individuals are contributors, must have FSA IDs, and must provide consent for the student to be eligible for Title IV aid.

Parent of Record Starting 2024-25

Effective the 2024-25 award year, parent of record on the FAFSA is noted below. You will notice that the parent with whom the student lived the most in the past 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA, is no longer a criterion in cases of divorced or separated parents. For divorced or separated parents, income and assets are reported for the parent who provides the most financial support even if the student does not live with that parent or lives with the other parent.

Parental Income on FAFSA

  • Parents who are married (not separated)
    • Parental income and assets in the case of a student whose parents are married and not separated shall include the income and assets of both parents.
  • Parents who are unmarried and both legal parents are living together
    • Parental income and assets in the case of a student whose parents are unmarried but live together, shall include the income and assets of both parents.
  • Single parent who was never married
    • Parental income and assets in the case of a student whose parent is single who is not divorced, separated, or remarried, shall include the income and assets of such single parent
  • Remarried parents
    • Parental income and assets in the case of a parent who was divorced or was a widow or widower and has remarried, the income of that parent's spouse shall be included in determining the parent's assessment of adjusted available income if the student's parent and the stepparent are married as of the date they filed the FAFSA.
  • Divorced or separated parents
    • Parental income and assets for a student whose parents are divorced or separated, but not remarried, is determined by including only the income and assets of the parent who provides the greater portion of the student's financial support.
  • Widow or Widower
    • Parental income and assets in the case of the death of any parent is determined as follows:
      • If either of the parents has died, the surviving parent shall be considered a single parent, until that parent has remarried.
      • If both parents have died, the student shall not report any parental income or assets.

FAFSA Form Changes

The questions that have been removed from the FAFSA effective the 2024-25 award year include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The student's housing choice
  2. The student's, spouse's, and parents' untaxed income that does not appear on the IRS 1040, 1040-SR, or 1040-NR tax return (such as untaxed payments to tax-deferred pension and retirement saving plans represented by IRS Form W-2 Box 12 codes D, E, F, G, H, and S; housing, food, and other living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy, and others; etc.)
  3. The student's interest in Federal Work-Study (FWS) employment
  4. Taxable earnings from need-based employment (such as need-based employment portions of fellowships and assistantships)
  5. Excluded income for the student, spouse, and parents. This includes other income items reported under "Additional Financial Information" on the FAFSA and excluded from need analysis in prior years (such as taxable combat pay, or special combat pay and cooperative education program earnings). Child support received is still reported, but as assets rather than income.
  6. The student's driver's license number and state
  7. Highest school completed by the student's parents. This question now asks whether either parent attended college.
  8. The college degree or certificate a student will be working on when they begin the award year
  9. Whether the student or parent filed IRS Schedule 1
  10. The dislocated worker question.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) Replaced

The IRS DRT will be replaced with the Direct Data Exchange (DDX).

  • EVERYONE (students, spouses (if applicable), and parents) will need to consent to have their Federal Tax Information (FTI) imported into the FTI module.
  • To provide consent, the individual will need to access the FAFSA with an FSA ID matched with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Federal tax filers will have their tax information imported into the FTI module. Tax income will be transferred into the FAFSA and will be sent to the colleges listed on the FAFSA.  FTI data will be masked to students and parents.
  • Non-tax filers must also check the box to consent. When IRS Data is accessed, the process will verify non-filing status.

Siblings in College

No benefit for having siblings in college: Previously, the FAFSA divided the EFC proportionally based on the number of household members in college. The elimination of this "sibling discount" will be the biggest change in aid eligibility for some students. The SAI (STUDENT AID INDEX) will not use the number in college as a factor in calculation of eligibility. As such, Bellarmine University students with siblings in college may see a change in their aid eligibility at BU and with the aid received by their sibling(s) at BU or elsewhere. The determination to no longer consider number in college was made by Congress and can only be changed by Congress.

Family Farms and Small Businesses

Inclusion of family farms or small businesses: When required, families will now report the value of their farms or businesses. While this inclusion continues to be debated in Congress, it will be required to be reported for appropriate families on the 2024-25 FAFSA and can influence the SAI.

Pell Grant Eligibility

Applicants may qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI), and poverty guidelines. Students qualifying for a Maximum Pell Grant will have a Student Aid Index (SAI) between negative $1,500 (-$,1500) and $0. Applicants who do not qualify for a Maximum Pell Grant may still qualify if their calculated SAI is less than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year. The applicant’s Pell Grant award for full-time enrollment will be equal to the maximum Pell Grant for the award year minus SAI. The Pell Grant will be adjusted (prorated) if an applicant enrolls in less than full time, or if the applicant’s Cost of Attendance (COA) is less than the calculated Pell Grant award. Applicants whose SAI is greater than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year may still qualify for a Pell Grant, based on family size, AGI, and poverty guidelines.

Learn more about how Pell Grant Eligibility is calculated.

Unusual Circumstances

Special Circumstances and Unusual Circumstances

Students with unusual circumstances are defined as: A student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of unusual circumstances which prevent the student from contacting parents. These circumstances could include—

  • human trafficking, as described in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.)
  • legally granted refugee or asylum status and are separate from their parents, or their parents are displaced in a foreign country
  • parental abandonment or estrangement and have not been adopted
  • abusive or threatening environment or
  • student or parental incarceration and contact with parents would pose a risk to the student.

Other students will continue to qualify as independent on their FAFSA form and not required to provide parental information if they:

  • Are active-duty military
  • Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Were an orphan, ward of the court or in foster care at the age of 13 or older
  • Are or were a legally emancipated minor or in a legal guardianship as determined by a court in the student’s state of legal residence or
  • Are a student unaccompanied and either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless

Starting with the 2024-25 Award Year, both first-time and renewal applicants who indicate on their FAFSA form that they have an unusual circumstance will be granted provisional independent status. They will be able to complete the form without providing parental information. They will also receive an estimate of their federal student aid eligibility, which will be subject to a final determination by the institution they attend. If a student's institution approves their unusual circumstances, their independent status will carry over when they renew their FAFSA form in future award years, and they will be considered independent for as long as they remain at the same institution and their circumstances remain unchanged.

Apply for Aid

To apply for federal and state assistance, all students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can submit this form at If you are currently unable to complete the application, students may want to use the Federal Student Aid Estimator before filling out the FAFSA form to help them understand their options for paying for college by providing them an early estimate of how much federal student aid they may be eligible for. Some important considerations to note:


  • A FAFSA must be filed every year that a student is in school.
  • Ask questions. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 502.272.7300 or 800.274.4723 if you have any questions. Also, ask about the financial aid workshops offered during the year.
  • Bellarmine's school code is #001954


Complete your FAFSA online