2024-25 FAFSA Simplification Act



2024-25  Financial Aid Application Changes for both FAFSA and CADAA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) is an essential step for students seeking financial assistance to pay for college. The FAFSA and CADAA determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, including grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and student loans. 

Although a definitive release date for the FAFSA has yet to be determined, Federal Student Aid has announced that the application will be delayed from October 1 to December 2023. Updates for both FASFA and CADAA will be available as soon as the applications are released.


The 2024-25 FAFSA Simplification Act simplifies the FAFSA application as shared through the Better FAFSA Better Future campaign. This simplified version is the first significant redesign of the FAFSA form in over 40 years. The goal is to make applying for federal student aid easier for students and families.

Highlights from the 2024-25 Better FAFSA Better Future campaign:

  • FSA has indicated that a process will be available for people without social security numbers to create an FSA ID and access the FAFSA. This process will likely require an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Therefore, families seeking an ITIN may need to start the process early. Link for instructions English and Spanish
  • Both students and parents must create FSA IDs before completing the application. If parents are divorced or separated, the parent who provided the most financial support in the last calendar year will now complete the form. 
  • All persons contributing information on the FAFSA must consent to have their federal tax information validated by the IRS, even non-filers. 
  •  The number of students a family has enrolled in college will no longer factor into the financial need calculation. 

For more information, please see the FAFSA Simplification FAQs


Hartnell College urges you not to wait to complete an FSA ID if you have not already done so. The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is an important component of student's and parents' financial aid application process. The FSA ID is a legal signature and allows students and parents to access and electronically sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is also used to access other federal student aid websites and resources, such as student loan applications and loan repayment tools.

 The FSA ID helps to protect personal and financial information by providing a secure login system that ensures that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive data. Additionally, the FSA ID can be used year after year, so students and parents do not need to create a new account each time they apply for financial aid. Overall, the FSA ID is an essential tool for students and parents seeking financial assistance for college.


The 2024-25 CADAA will include some of the changes from the new FAFSA, such as incorporating the Student Aid Index in place of the Expected Family Contribution. Although the number of questions will remain the same on the CADAA, the Commission is working on making some enhancements per the recommendations of the Renewing the Dream Report that was released earlier this year. Commission staff are currently analyzing these recommendations and working to identify which recommendations will be implemented for the 2024-25 award year. 

Proposed 2024-25 CADAA Enhancements:

The Commission is working on making enhancements per the recommendations of the Renewing the Dream Report that was released earlier this year. 

Some of the notable enhancements are: 

  •  Inclusion of Race/Ethnicity/Gender questions:  the questions will be optional and will not impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. The data obtained will be used for Commission research purposes only.  
  • AB 540  Affidavit inclusion: Following the progress of Assembly Bill 1540, the  Commission will embed the questions for the determination of nonresident tuition exemption (commonly referred to as  AB 540  affidavit) within the CADAA and provide a mechanism to allow institutions to collect a  student’s answers to the AB 540 affidavit.  NOTE:  Institutions of higher education will continue to make final determinations of  AB 540  eligibility.  
  • Parent Signature Process changes: The  Commission is working to build the parental signature into the original submission,  which may eliminate the separate  PIN  creation process.