Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Big changes to FAFSA and TASFA

Jessica McLaren

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) for the 2024-2025 school year will be experiencing a significant overhaul. The FAFSA Simplification Act, passed by Congress in 2020, aims to make the application process smoother, with fewer hurdles for acquiring aid. Here is what you need to know.

Replacing EFC with SAI

The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The new measure removes the previous factor in the EFC, the number of family members in college, from calculations. In addition to this removal, the lowest SAI you can receive is -$1500, compared to the EFC’s $0. This range allows for better coverage for expenses not within a school’s published cost of attendance. Students who don’t qualify for a Pell Grant based on their adjusted gross income may still receive one based on their SAI.

Expanded eligibility and streamlining of process

Another significant change is the expansion of eligibility. Some modifications have already been implemented, like removing Selective Service registration as a requirement for aid and drug convictions no longer affecting eligibility. Students who are incarcerated and enrolled in an approved prison education program are eligible to receive Pell Grants. Additionally, students who were subjected to an involuntary civil commitment for a sexual offense will also gain eligibility.

Furthermore, the number of questions on the application will be significantly reduced from over 100 to reportedly 36. New questions regarding sex, ethnicity and race have already been added for research purposes and will not affect aid decisions. Users will also be able to transfer data directly from the IRS thanks to the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act, which mandates disclosure of federal tax information to the Department of Education with an individual’s approval and consent.

Delayed start

Unlike in previous years, where the application was available in October, the 2024-2025 FAFSA rollout will start in Dec. 2023. As a result of this delay, the TASFA will also open later this year at a yet-to-be-announced date. UTSA’s financial aid priority deadline of Jan. 15, 2024, has not changed but is subject to change. Check One Stop for continual updates.

UTSA’s Financial Success team will hold virtual workshops throughout the rest of the year and at the beginning of next year to assist with financial aid. Info sessions on the new FAFSA application will be held on Thursday, Nov. 30 and Monday, Dec. 11 at 6:00 p.m. For more information regarding financial aid, contact the UTSA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at (210) 458-8000 or [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Misty Olawunmi
Misty Olawunmi, Staff Writer
Jessica McLaren
Jessica McLaren, News Editor
Jessica McLaren is a senior digital communications student. She is from Austin, Texas, and she has been working with The Paisano for several years now — first as a staff writer and now as the News Editor. Though she has loved to write for virtually her entire life, Jess only recently discovered her passion for visual design through her studies at UTSA. She values open-mindedness and compassion and believes the media is a powerful tool that can be used to strengthen the forces of humanity if used mindfully. Once she graduates, Jess plans to use her expertise in writing, editing and design to help people better understand themselves and the world around them by creating compelling and engaging communication campaigns as a self-employed writer and designer. When she’s not writing an article or researching for one, you can usually find her reading a book about philosophy with a good cup of coffee.

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