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FAFSA Changes 2024

Financial Aid Packages Are Being Delivered!

We are finally able to send financial aid packages! This means if you filed your FAFSA and we received your information from the Department of Education, you should receive a notification via your personal and SAU email that your financial aid package is ready.

If you don’t receive a notification, please check the status of your FAFSA by logging into your account on or contact your Admissions Representative for an update. 

If you haven’t filed your FAFSA yet, now is the time! More students than ever before are eligible for federal and state aid. We encourage you to file your FAFSA so you can see what financial aid is available for you. Here are your next steps if you haven’t filed yet:

We thank you for all your patience and understanding throughout this long and often frustrating process. We’re committed to keeping you informed as we continue through this process together. If you have any questions, please reach out to your admissions rep!

Demystify FAFSA: Watch Our Webinar

Feeling overwhelmed by FAFSA and financial aid? Spring Arbor University’s Financial Aid and Admissions are here to assist you! If you missed our live webinar, don’t worry – you can now watch the recording. Explore the essentials of FAFSA, including updates to this year’s form and insights into delays in financial aid packaging. Dive into our interactive Q&A session, where your pressing questions are addressed directly by our experts. 

FAFSA is different this year. Let’s talk through it!

1️⃣ What’s going on with this year’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

You may have noticed that some things are different with the FAFSA this year. A big reason for this is the new Simplification Act that is now in effect.

2️⃣ What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?

The FAFSA Simplification Act, effective from the 2024–25 academic year, brings significant changes to federal student aid. These include revisions to the FAFSA application process, methods for determining financial need, and regulations for institutions in federal aid programs. This impact extends beyond federal programs, affecting states using FAFSA data for grants and all schools in federal aid programs. The legislation encompasses a broad transformation in various aspects of the financial aid process.

For more detailed information visit the FAFSA Simplification information page.

3️⃣ Why is the FAFSA important?

The information provided in your FAFSA determines the amount of financial aid you are eligible for from the federal and state governments, your university, and in private grants and loans.

4️⃣ What changes will be made?

Starting in the 2024–25 school year, there’s a change in how financial aid is calculated. Instead of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), we now have the Student Aid Index (SAI). What does that mean?

  • Family Members in College: Before, the number of family members in college affected the calculation. Now, it’s not considered in the formula.
  • Minimum SAI: The SAI can now go as low as -1500, giving a bit more flexibility for those with greater financial need.
  • Federal Pell Grants: Federal Pell Grants have their own set of rules now. Eligibility determination for Pell Grants is handled separately. This means when you’re applying for financial aid, you’ll see changes in how your ability to pay for college is assessed. The new formula aims to provide a more nuanced and flexible approach to determine financial need.

Modifications to Family Definitions in FAFSA Formulas

  • Expect changes in how a student’s family size is determined, aligning more with what was reported on the student’s/parents’ tax returns.

Expanding Access to Federal Pell Grants

  • The FAFSA Simplification Act will make it so more students can receive the Federal Pell Grant. Now, eligibility is linked to family size and the federal poverty level, starting from the 2024–25 school year.
  • Students in federal and state prisons can now get a Pell Grant, starting from the 2023–24 school year.
  • If a school closes while a student is there or if the school misleads them, the student can still use Pell Grants, starting from the 2023–24 school year.

Streamlining the FAFSA form

  • Some questions about Selective Service and drug convictions are removed.
  • New questions about sex, race, and ethnicity are added. These won’t affect federal student aid eligibility, starting from the 2023–24 school year.


When should I file my FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available right now. The sooner you fill it out, the sooner we will be able to send your financial aid package. Occasionally the FAFSA form goes offline, so please keep trying if you experience issues.

Can I make corrections to my FAFSA once I submit it?

Once your form has been processed you can make changes. For more information visit the How to Review and Correct Your FAFSA Form page.

When will SAU receive my FAFSA information?

The Department of Education has stated that they will not begin sending FAFSA information to colleges and universities until at least mid to late March. You will be able to view if SAU has received your FAFSA through the Federal Student Aid website. For more information on where to look, see this article.

When will I receive my financial aid package from SAU?

We hope to begin sending out financial aid packages in April. Please note that FAFSA information is sent to SAU at the will for the Department of Education and not necessarily in the order that students filed their FAFSA.

What should you do now?

  1. Create your FSA ID at if you have not done so already.
  2. File your FAFSA at
  3. Make sure your Admissions Representative has your Social Security Number (you won’t be able to receive your aid without it). 
  4. Activate your MySAU portal or login if you already have an account. If you don’t have your ID number, contact your Admissions Representative.

Have questions?

We are here to help! Contact your Admissions Representative or email