Easier FAFSA application process with a reduced number of questions.
The Federal Pell Grant expands to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is a different way to determine aid eligibility.
Schools will use the SAI to determine eligibility for federal financial aid programs. UMass Amherst will also use the SAI to determine financial need for need-based institutional funding such as the UMass Amherst Grant.
Unlike the EFC calculation, the SAI will not include the number of family members in college. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.
The guidance on which parent income to report for students whose parents are separated or divorced has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.
To speed up processing time, parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID and submit their FAFSA application online. They will no longer have to print, sign and mail the form.
Students who qualify for a dependency override due to homelessness, or not being able to access their parents’ financials, no longer need to recertify their dependency status each year (unless their situation changes).
Male students under the age of 26 are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System to receive federal financial aid.