Alumni Blog - October 2022
2023-2024 FAFSA Changes: What You Should Know
Happy FAFSA season everyone! As you know, on October 1st the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens up for the 2023-2024 academic year. This year the application has a few changes due to the bill that passed in December 2021.
So, let's get into it!!
When Does the 2023-2024 FAFSA Become Available?
October 1st is the big day! The deadline to complete the application is June 30, 2024, although it is not recommended that you wait that long. Remember, you may have Tennessee Promise or scholarship deadlines that you must meet. Many schools also have a deadline for financial aid packages and the longer you wait, the less likely you are to receive institutional grant aid from colleges.
In December 2021, Congress passed a package that included emergency pandemic relief as well as policy changes for higher education. A number of these changes will go into effect this summer (July 2023), but some will already be reflected in this year's FAFSA.
These changes include:
The application will only have, at most, 36 questions, down from 108.
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which will help students and their families make better sense of their award letters.
Additional information will be supplied regarding Pell Grant eligibility ahead of time if the students wish to check.
Pell Grants are available again to those who have been in jail or prison, have drug-related convictions, and men who haven't registered for Selective Service.
Questions regarding Selective Service and drug conviction eligibility have also been entirely removed.
Easier application process for those in foster care or homeless.
The myStudentAid app has been removed.
In addition, the look and feel of the FAFSA has been improved. It is supposed to be more user friendly, site navigation easier, and the application now asks whether you are a student, parent, or preparer BEFORE the you begin. Helpful text and explanations have been included as well.
What is the Student Aid Index?
One of the changes is the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new acronym replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in the student financial aid world. The EFC could be as low as 0, but the SAI cannot be lower than $1500. This new system will be a new adventure for all of us to get used to. Once we have more information about how to define what the index number is, we will share this.
Pell Grant Eligibility
One of the most important changes could be the Pell eligibility. Students do not repay federal Pell Grants, so award increases can have a big impact on low-income families.
Last year's awards saw changes to the award size and family income limits. The maximum award increased to $6,895 for the 2022-2023 year.
Following the recent student loan forgiveness announcement, it's likely that Pell Grant recipients will see another bump for the 2023-2024 year.
Apply for FAFSA Every Year
FAFSA opens each October and is available for the next academic year. So yes, you need to apply for FAFSA every year.
If you have already filled out the FAFSA last year, then a majority of this information will already be plugged in for you this year. If there have been any changes to the following, you will need to have those items on hand before you begin the application.
Your FSA ID
Your parents FSA ID
Your email address (not your school email) and cell phone number
Parent email address and cell phone number
If you are a TN resident, the month and year you began living in TN
If your parents are TN residents, the month and year your parents began living in TN
Your Social Security number
Your parents Social Security numbers
If you are not a U.S. citizen, your permanent resident/green card
Your parents' date of birth
Your driver's license or state ID, if you have one
The month and year your parents were married, divorced, separated or widowed
The highest level of school your parents completed
All federal 2021 income tax forms (including W-2's/1099s/Schedules filed) for you and your parents
Most current statements from all accounts (checking, savings, investments, etc.)
Child support paid or received
Value of investments, farms or businesses
Other 2021 year benefits (workers comp, military, clergy, veteran amounts)
Filing the FAFSA
After creating or finding your FSA ID, the next step is to file your FAFSA! You will need to make sure you go to www.fafsa.gov
When filing the FAFSA, questions often arise about dependency status, parental information and citizenship status. Below you will find some charts to help you answer these questions.
The following statements will determine your dependency status for the FAFSA. Check any that are true.
I will be 24 or older by December 31 of the school year for which I am applying for aid
I am serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
Since I turned age 13, both of my parents were deceased
I was a dependent or ward of the court since turning age 13
I am married
I am a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
I was in foster care since turning age 13
I am homeless or at risk of being homeless
In the upcoming school year, I will be working on a master's or doctoral program
I now have or will have children for whom I provide more than half of their support
I have dependents (other than children or my spouse) who love with me and I provide more than half of their support
I am currently or I was in a legal guardianship
I am currently or I was an emancipated minor
If any of these statements are true for you, you are an independent and will not provide parental information on the FAFSA.
If none of the statements are true, you are a dependent student and must provide parental information on the FAFSA. Dependent students are required to include parent information.
Who is Your Parent on the FAFSA?
The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you:
Older brothers or sisters
Aunts or uncles
If you need help filling out the FAFSA, contact your Upward Bound Adviser for assistance. Below you will find information about each county's FAFSA Frenzy event or adviser availability, as well as their contact information.
If you can't make it to a FAFSA Frenzy event, don't worry! Just give us a call! We will schedule a time and place to help you out.
Grainger County (Grainger High School)
Adviser: Hannah Ballas
Office: (865) 828- 8404
Cell: (865) 469-0958
FAFSA Frenzy at Grainger High School: October 20th (3:30 PM - 6:30 PM)
Hawkins County (Cherokee High School)
Adviser: Abby Lyons
Office: (423) 272-2299
Cell: (423) 754-3154
FAFSA Frenzy at Cherokee High School: October 18th (12:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
Morgan County (Central High School)
Adviser: Kathryn Nabors
Office: (423) 346-2417
Cell: (423) 223-6313
FAFSA Frenzy at Central High School: October 4th (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM)
Morgan County (Coalfield & Sunbright Schools)
Adviser: Amy Brown
Office: (865) 435-7108
Cell: (423) 223-6308
FAFSA Frenzy at Coalfield School: October 17th (5:00 PM - 7:30 PM)
FAFSA Frenzy at Sunbright School: November 7th (6:00 PM - 7:30 PM)
Scott County (Scott High School)
Adviser: Matthew Boshears
Office: (423) 569-7957
Cell: (423) 223-6319
Availability to help with FAFSA's: Mondays - Fridays (2:30 PM - 4:30 PM)
If you live in the following counties you can also seek help with our Educational Opportunity Center (EOC). This program is a TRIO program which provides college counseling and FAFSA assistance for those students who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education.
Program Manager: Judith Butler
Office: (423) 736-5261
Schedule an appointment HERE
Hamblen & Jefferson County
Adviser: Jenny Rosenberger
Cell: (423) 748-4635
Schedule an appointment HERE
Claiborne & Grainger County
Hancock & Hawkins County
Adviser: Amanda Burton
Cell: (423) 921-2073
Schedule an appointment HERE
Last updated: 9/30/2022