Updated FAFSA for Academic Year 2024-2025

The U.S. Department of Education is redesigning the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 academic year. As the Department of Education notes, the “FAFSA Simplification Act—a sweeping redesign of processes and systems used to award federal student aid… makes it easier for students and families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and expands access to federal student aid.” 

Read more about the FAFSA Simplification Act

This simplification will vastly reduce the number of questions on the FAFSA and rely on Direct Data Exchange (DDX) to securely transfer federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The new FAFSA form is expected to be available to students and families by December 31, 2023. The Department of Education anticipates releasing information to schools by early February, so students may see a delay in the fulfillment of the FAFSA requirement on GWeb.

Although the new FAFSA will no longer consider the number of students in college within a household, GW will continue to factor this into aid packages based on information from the CSS Profile.

View the FAFSA website

For Returning Students

GW asks returning students to submit a FAFSA for the upcoming school year by March 1.

What can you do now?

Students, their parents or legal guardians, and anyone contributing to a student’s FAFSA - each referred to as a contributor by the Department of Education - can create their Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID now.

With the update, incomplete FAFSA forms will expire after 45 days. We recommend that returning students wait until February to begin filing their simplified FAFSA.

For Early Decision Applicants

GW will issue preliminary financial aid packages following the release of admissions decisions based on an applicant’s CSS Profile. A completed FAFSA will be required for students to receive federal assistance; in addition, university assistance may be canceled if a completed FAFSA is not received.

For Regular Decision Applicants

Based on the Department of Education’s timeline, GW anticipates that Regular Decision applicants will be able to submit both the FAFSA and CSS Profile to allow financial aid packages to be released soon after admission decisions are available. Any delay by the Department of Education may affect this process; GW will communicate priority deadlines to applicants via email in the spring.