College admission season is upon us and for many students, that will include completing the Free Application for Federal Student aid – more commonly referred to as the FAFSA. As of the 2024-2025 aid year, the FAFSA has been simplified to help students and parents more easily navigate the federal aid process, which is great news! Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:

What is the 2024-25 FAFSA, where can I find it, and when will it be available?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a free application available to current and prospective college students seeking federal financial assistance for their education. The application collects personal and financial information to determine eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and/or loans. 

The FAFSA is usually available as of October 1 every year, but due to the updates that are being made to the application, the 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available on December 31, 2023.  

You can complete the application online at beginning December 31.We recommend you file by January 15 if you are applying Early Decision 1/2 or by February 20 if you are applying Regular Decision.

Who needs to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA?

If you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen, you will need to complete the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal aid.

The FAFSA will ask you to provide personally identifiable information (date of birth, SSN, email address, etc.) along with 2022 tax and asset information. It may also ask for the information of your parent(s) or guardian(s) depending on your dependency status. Don’t worry though! As you complete the FAFSA, the application will ask questions that help you determine who should be included.  

Everyone who is required to provide information on your FAFSA is called a contributor. This means that they are contributing information to your application.  Contributors may include parents, step-parents, and/or spouses. It is important to note that a contributor has no obligation to pay for the student’s education, but rather the individual’s information is required to help determine a student’s overall eligibility for federal aid.

How can I prepare for the FAFSA before it’s made available on December 31st?

You and your FAFSA contributors will need to register for an FSA ID. The FSA ID is a unique, personal username and password that allows each of you to access the FAFSA as well as other applications associated with, and to provide consent and approval to submit the application. 

All contributors are able to register for an FSA ID right now, and we suggest you do so before the FAFSA is released on December 31 so that you are ready to go as soon as the application is available. It may take a few business days for your FSA IDs to be processed. You and your contributors will need to provide your Social Security Numbers and other verifiable information in the registration process, however, if a contributor does not have a Social Security Number, they are still eligible to create an FSA ID by providing alternative identifiable information. 

Register for an FSA ID

What is meant by consent and approve?

When a FAFSA contributor provides consent and approval, they are agreeing to have the personal information they provided on the FAFSA shared with the IRS in order to transfer their Federal Tax Information from the IRS to the FAFSA. All contributors are required to provide consent and approval on the FAFSA – including contributors who did not file taxes or who filed taxes outside of the United States

What to expect after the FAFSA has been completed?

Once the FAFSA has been completed and signed by all contributors, you will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary. This will provide a summary of your application and provide further instruction if there are additional steps that are required for your specific application.

If you are admitted to NYU, you will receive a letter which will detail your financial aid eligibility:

Early Decision 1 and 2

Because the FAFSA will not be available until December 31, and the Department of Education has estimated that schools will have access to FAFSA data in late February, your financial aid letter will include an estimate of your federal financial aid eligibility.  Because it will simply be an estimate, you will not need to take action to accept or decline any of the estimated federal financial aid.  After you have submitted the 2024-2025 FAFSA and your eligibility has been confirmed, we will update your financial aid letter to indicate your confirmed federal eligibility and at that time, you will be able to accept or decline the federal financial aid portion of your financial aid package.  

Regular Decision

We expect that your financial aid letter will include your confirmed federal financial aid eligibility as long as you submit your FAFSA by the February 20 suggested filing date.

Anything else I need to know?

For more information regarding how to be prepared for the 2024-2025 FAFSA, go to Federal Student Aid’s YouTube channel  and check out the playlist titled Preparing for the FAFSA Form

If you have any questions, you are encouraged to contact the NYU Office of Financial Aid at [email protected]. We are more than happy to help you navigate the financial aid process! 

Monica L. Garcia is a Financial Aid Counselor in the NYU Office of Financial Aid. She has lived all over the country – from New York to California, Alabama to Colorado – but has always called New York City home. Monica earned her B.A. in English from Athens State University and began her career in higher education in 2014 while living in Denver. She enjoys spending time with her dog, writing, painting, and exploring the city.