Get ready: Better FAFSA for 2024-25 is coming soon

While you await the complete rollout of the simplified FAFSA form, here’s how you can prepare.

Monday, December 18, 2023
Written by: Kimberly Allen

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has undergone a complete overhaul, and a simplified FAFSA form known as the Better FAFSA was released in a "soft launch" at the end of 2023, with full availability coming soon. Students will use the Better FAFSA to apply for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, work-study funds and loans, for the 2024-25 award year and beyond. This updated FAFSA form is designed to connect more people with more funds and improve the user experience. It also creates pathways for homeless youth and students with unusual circumstances.

This is the first time there have been major changes to the FAFSA in 40 years. With changes on the way, we want you to be ready when the rollout of the Better FAFSA is complete. Here’s how you can prepare.

  1. Create Your FSA ID
    Your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) will give you access to the FSA platform and is the FSA username and password you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. To create your FSA ID, you’ll need your Social Security number, mobile phone and personal email address. Unlike previous years, students and parents won’t be able to obtain an FSA ID and complete the FAFSA in one sitting, so get your FSA ID early.
  2. Gather Your Documents
    Prepare to complete the FAFSA by having your documents ready ahead of time. Once again, you’ll need your Social Security number and your parents’ Social Security numbers if you’re a dependent student. You’ll also need to have your driver’s license number and tax information for yourself, your spouse (if applicable) and your parents if you’re a dependent. Records of untaxed income and information on cash, bank balances, investments and assets should also be handy. With your information readily available, you’ll be able to save time and frustration when completing the FAFSA.
  3. Know the Key Changes for 2024-25
    The Better FAFSA includes several changes to streamline the application questions and improve the user experience. Here are a few key changes you should know.
    • Contributor: While the FAFSA previously referred to “parents,” the new term on the Better FAFSA is “contributor.” Contributor refers to anyone required to provide consent on the FAFSA. Possible contributors include the student, parent, other parent, and/or the student’s spouse.
    • Consent: “Consent” is a new term on the Better FAFSA. Contributor(s) must provide consent to use their information to match with the IRS, allow the IRS to disclose their federal tax information (FTI), and allow the U.S. Department of Education to use their FTI and re-disclose their FTI to schools and organizations.
    • Direct Data Exchange: “Direct Data Exchange” replaces the term “IRS Data Retrieval Tool.” With Direct Data Exchange, your federal tax information will be transferred directly from the IRS into your FAFSA form. This information will be used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. You and your contributors must provide consent for this transfer to happen.

To learn more about the Better FAFSA, the key changes and more, visit and view the Federal Student Aid YouTube channel to help answer questions you may have. With a little preparation, you’ll be informed and ready to apply for federal aid when the simplified FAFSA form is fully available.

About Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves more than 22,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A full-service education provider, Seminole State has thrived by adapting to and meeting the needs of an ever-changing, vibrant community. Seminole State offers 11 bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, high-growth fields; two-year associate degrees; specialized certificates; continuing professional education; adult education and guaranteed admission via DirectConnect to UCF® to the University of Central Florida for Associate in Arts (A.A.) graduates. By offering flexible, affordable, high-quality educational programs and services, the College continues to help students learn, succeed and GO Far. For more about Seminole State, visit

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Editor's Note:
Updated Jan. 4, 2024