Upcoming Financial Aid Updates


For the 2024-25 FAFSA application year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will undergo changes relating to the FAFSA Simplification Act enacted into law. The changes to the FAFSA will impact the information requested from students and their families, as well as the potential eligibility of grant and loan aid for applicants during the 2024-2025 academic year.

For further details on the 2024-2025 application year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) and eligibility information can be found on the Financial Aid Basics webpage.

When will the 2024-2025 FAFSA become available?

Late December 2023

To learn more about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and how to apply please visit the FAFSA webpage.

The exact date will be provided soon by the U.S. Department of Education.

The California priority application deadline for the 2024-2025 FAFSA is:

April 2, 2024

  1. A simplified application process:
    The number of application questions has been reduced and this has decreased the time needed to complete the FAFSA form. 
  2. Expanded eligibility for Federal Pell Grant:
    More students will be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, and some students may be eligible for more Federal Pell Grant than before.
  3. Reduced barriers for applicants:
    The Federal Tax Information (FTI) requested will be secure and transferred for all taxpayers.
    Both students and parents/guardians will be able to create their own Federal Student Aid (FSA) IDs, even those with no Social Security Number (SSN).
    Please note that FSA IDs refer to the FAFSA application’s username and password required to submit a FAFSA 
  4. Change from Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to Student Aid Index (SAI):
    Beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the EFC is being replaced by the SAI
    The SAI refers to the new tool used for determining and awarding need-based grants and scholarships
    • What is the difference? 
      The FAFSA will remove the question asking for the number of family members in college
      Additionally, there is also a possibility for the SAI to be a negative number, with a minimum SAI of -1,500 instead of zero 

Use of Federal Tax Information:

The FAFSA Simplification Act (Act) requires that whenever possible, the FAFSA use data received directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to calculate a student’s SAI and Pell Grant award.  

Changes to need: Dependency Status:

A FAFSA applicant’s SAI will be determined by their dependency status. A student's dependency status may be one of the following:  

  • Dependent students 
  • Independent students without dependents other than a spouse 
  • Independent students with dependents other than a spouse 

Beginning with the 2024-2025 award year, students who are separated will no longer be considered married and should not indicate they are married on the FAFSA. Unless independent by a measure other than marriage, they will be considered dependent students. 

Provisional (Temporary) Independent Status:

Beginning with the 2024-2025 award year, dependent students who indicate that they have unusual circumstances that prevent them from providing parent data will no longer receive a rejected application but will instead have their application processed with a provisional (temporary) independent status. This will generate documents with a temporary SAI and an estimate of federal student aid eligibility.

Other notable changes:

  • The number of family members in college is no longer a factor in determining need.
  • The definition of family size has changed to be the same as the number of individuals reported as dependents on the applicant’s (if independent) or applicant’s parents’ (if dependent) U.S. tax return. Applicants may update their family size if it changes after filing the tax return.

For 2024-2025, the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is working on making updates to the CADAA per recommendations from the Renewing the Dream Report that was released earlier this year. The notable changes are:  

  • Application timeline: 
    CADAA will likely be released on the same date as the FAFSA - late December 2023.
    CADAA's priority deadline is April 2, 2024.  
  • Change from Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to Student Aid Index (SAI):
    The 2024 -2025 CADAA will include some of the changes from the new FAFSA such as the incorporation of the Student Aid Index (SAI) in place of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  
  • Inclusion of Race/Ethnicity/Gender questions:
    The questions will be optional and will not impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. The information obtained will be used for CSAC research purposes only.  
  • AB 540 Affidavit inclusion:
    Following the progress of Assembly Bill 1540, CSAC will include the questions for the determination of nonresident tuition exemption (commonly referred to as AB 540 affidavit) within the CADAA and provide a way to allow institutions to collect a student’s answers to the AB 540 affidavit. Note: Colleges and universities will continue to make final determinations of AB540 eligibility.  
  • Parent Signature Process changes:
    CSAC is working to allow the parental signature into the original submission, which may eliminate the separate PIN creation process.

The multi-year tuition increase will benefit current and prospective students in three important ways: 

  • Provide the necessary resources for each university to further the CSU’s core values of equitable excellence and access; 
  • Provide tuition stability and predictability for students and parents; and 
  • Enhance financial aid and affordability for those students with the greatest financial need.

For more information, please view the Multi-Year Revenue Sustainability plan

What does the increase mean for students? 

  • Full-time undergraduate students will see a tuition increase of $342 for the 2024-2025 academic year, or $171 per term. 
  • Full-time graduate students will see a tuition increase of $432 for the 2024-2025 academic year, or $216 per term. 
  • The tuition increase will take effect in the 2024-2025 academic year. The cost of tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year will not be affected.

Visit the Multi-Year Tuition Increase FAQ website to view the new tuition rates for academic year 2024-25 through 2028-29. 

What does this mean for student financial aid? 

  • Undergraduate students eligible for California state financial aid programs such as the State University Grant (SUG) and Cal Grant (CG) will see an increase of $342 for the 2024-2025 academic year to cover the total tuition increase. Meanwhile, the Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS) will cover a portion of the tuition increase. 
  • Students eligible for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) will not see an increase in these federal aid programs to accommodate the tuition increase. Pell Grant and FSEOG are federally funded, and do not cover increases to state tuition. In addition, please note that Pell Grant and FSEOG eligibility are based on student need and enrollment status. 
  • Financial Aid Program Information

What should students do?

We encourage students to continue to apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) for the 2024-2025 application year which will open in December 2023. Students should apply as soon as the applications become available so that their eligibility can be determined, and they receive the maximum amount of financial aid. The priority deadline for the FAFSA and CADAA is April 2, 2024.

Updated: September 20, 2023