How to Apply to FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is now open for all applicants. Don't miss this opportunity to secure financial aid for your education. Complete your FAFSA today to maximize your potential funding and receive your financial package from Stetson University.

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  • A more streamlined application process
  • Expanded eligibility for federal student aid
  • Expanded eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant
  • Reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds)
  • A better user experience for the FAFSA
  • Enhanced data sharing with the IRS to simplify the applicant’s experience

What can I do to prepare?

  • Have your 2022 tax documents ready to go in December.
  • Every contributor will need an FSA ID in order to complete their part of the FAFSA.
    • Contributors can complete only their part of the FAFSA (student or parent). The second contributor will receive an email invitation to log in and complete their part once the first contributor is finished.

When will I get my aid offer once I am admitted to Stetson?

  • Our goal is to get aid information to students as quickly as possible. However, the US Department of Education has indicated FAFSA results will not be made available to Schools until mid-March 2024.

When will returning students get their aid offers?

  • Our goal is to get aid information to returning students as quickly as possible. We plan to begin releasing aid offers or requesting additional information from students who have completed the FAFSA in March. This timeline is subject to change. We appreciate your patience as we navigate the new FAFSA.

Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and they will experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

  • The formula for calculating the Student Aid Index (SAI) is COA – SAI = financial need.
  • The new need-analysis formula:
    • removes the number of family members in college from the calculation,
    • allows a minimum SAI of -$1,500,
    • implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants based on federal poverty levels and family size.
  • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
  • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as a primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in their need-analysis calculation.

  • The number of questions will be reduced, and the application will maximize the use of previously collected data.
  • Students will be able to list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.
  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • The Cost of Attendance (COA) is the starting point for calculating financial need. COA includes direct costs (charges for which the university bills you directly) and estimated indirect costs (living expenses) to fund educational expenses for a year.
  • Ward of the courts, youth in foster care at any time since the age of 13, homeless, and unaccompanied youth—as well as applicants who cannot provide parental information—will be able to complete the form with a provisional independent student determination and receive a calculated SAI.
  • Anyone asked to provide information on the aid application—student, spouse, student’s parent(s) and/or stepparents(s)—is called a “contributor” to the application.
  • Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents (contributors) will now need to provide their consent to provide their Federal Tax Information (FTI) in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility.
    • Direct data sharing with the IRS will replace what is currently known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
    • If any contributor to the FAFSAdoes not provide consent, submission of the application will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.
  • The Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent(s) who provided you with more financial support, instead of the parent(s) with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.
  • There will be two-step verification and all FAFSA contributors must have an FSA ID to log into the online application. There will be a new process to get an FSA ID for parents and spouses without a Social Security number.
  • Applicants will be asked to report their sex, race, and ethnicity on the FAFSA itself, but students will be offered a choice of “Prefer Not to Answer.” Schools and state agencies won’t see responses to these questions on the FAFSA.

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant update of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This includes the FAFSA, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

The FAFSA Simplification Act was signed into law in 2020 and is the first major redesign of the FAFSA application and aid process in over 40 years. The Act represents the overhaul of federal student aid, including the FAFSA application, federal methodology used to determine need, identification of the parent participants in the aid process, updating key terms and definitions related to aid processes, and updating the policies for schools that participate in the Title IV programs.