Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

The Texan’s how-to guide to navigating the new, shorter FAFSA

Breyona Mitchell

A new, shorter version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form launched on Dec. 31.

The FAFSA form helps determine a student’s eligibility for aid, including packages such as scholarships, grants, work-study funds and loans. To be considered for federal, state and school financial aid programs for the following academic year, all students must submit the FAFSA, regardless of income. To ensure availability for the widest range of aid available, students must submit the FAFSA by the state’s Mar. 15 priority deadline.

The form allows students to transfer tax data directly from the IRS and includes new formulas meant to grant more aid to more students. Because of the three-month delay, information is set to be received by schools starting in late January, but the timing depends on the student’s institution, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

What are the biggest changes to the FAFSA this year?

According to the University’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and Texas One Stop, these are the key changes to the FAFSA form:

  • The form reduced the number of questions from 108 to 36. 
  • The application now calculates a Student Aid Index instead of the Expected Family Contribution, and students with the highest need may see a negative number.
  • Consent and approval are required to be eligible for financial aid. Students must consent to providing their Federal Tax Information via a direct data share with the IRS. All contributors, including parents, step-parents and/or student spouses, must provide FTI consent regardless of tax filing status.
  • The Student Aid Report is now called the FAFSA Submission Summary.
  • Having a sibling in college no longer influences a student’s financial aid eligibility on the FAFSA. However, University students can receive budgeting and money management assistance through Texas Financial Wellness and apply for scholarship opportunities using the new Longhorn Awards and Student Scholarship Opportunities student portal.  

What resources does the University provide for students?

For general questions about completing the FAFSA, students should contact Texas One Stop or attend an upcoming FAFSA workshop on Jan. 23 and 25 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Texas One Stop Classroom MAI 001J. Students can also find FAFSA information by visiting New Changes to Financial Aid and should come prepared with their verified account username and password (FSA ID), date of birth, Social Security number, names of their contributors, email address, income and asset information (if required).

According to the OSFA and TOS, students can visit the Reporting Parent Information webpage or contact the Department of Education if they need additional support filing on behalf of their parents or from a non-traditional household. 

Students can also prepare to fill out the FAFSA by watching Preparing for the FAFSA Form and 2024-25 FAFSA FAQs to understand what information and documents they need.

Be sure to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Failing to thoroughly read the definitions or directions.
  • Failing to have an FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA Form. Students and their contributors need an FSA ID to complete the form.
  • Failing to complete or submit the FAFSA by the Mar. 15 state priority deadline.
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About the Contributor
Breyona Mitchell, Associate Comics Editor
Breyona is a sophomore english and studio art double major from Houston, Texas. Currently, they work as the associate comics editor and has previously drawn for the paper as a senior artist. They love playing video games with their friends.