2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Changes

FAFSANowAvailableFeb2024 - DAVID HAGGARD

How the FAFSA Simplification Act Affects You

Last updated: February 1, 2024

Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the 2024-2025 aid year! 

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

2024-2025 FAFSA – Available Now

The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid form is now open. To file, go to: FAFSA.gov.

You can learn more about the new FASFA launch here: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/fafsa-support

What else can I do right now?

There are a few things you can be doing right now that will help you prepare for the financial aid process for 2024-25.

1) New students considering Bryan College for Fall 2024 can now get an estimate of their Student Aid Index (SAI) and an estimated financial aid package! Click the link below, register for your account, and have your estimate within minutes:

2) Watch the pre-recorded FAFSA Preview Webinar hosted by Bryan College.

Be ready with an inside preview of the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

3) All “contributors” to the FAFSA data (expand the appropriate section below for more details on contributors) must have a valid FSA ID. Watch the video below to learn about obtaining an FSA ID before the FAFSA is available in December:

4) Consider using the FAFSA aid estimator to estimate your Student Aid Index (SAI) and eligibility for federal student aid: https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/. Follow the link and click “Start estimate”.

What's changing with the FAFSA?

There are a number of benefits of the FAFSA simplification act, including a more streamlined application process and a better user experience for the FAFSA, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds).

Some fundamental changes include, but are not limited to:

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won’t even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.

Previously, the FAFSA only allowed students to list up to 10 colleges and universities.

Currently, the FAFSA is only available in English and Spanish. The 2024-25 application will be expanded to include the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents.

Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, all persons on the FAFSA will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange to share tax information or confirm non-filing status. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.

A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student’s or parent’s answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they’ve been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID (if they don’t already have one) to provide the required information on the student’s FAFSA.

Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student’s education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate Bryan College students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.

Bryan College will continue to use the number in college for undergraduate students when determining eligibility for need-based institutional financial aid.

Families making less than 175% and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by SAI.

For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.

When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.


What isn't changing?

While the FAFSA is receiving an update and the aid eligibility calculation has been revised, there are a number of aid-related matters that will not change.

  • For Bryan College onsite undergraduate students, the significant majority of institutional aid is determined by factors other than FAFSA data.  Therefore FAFSA changes will not impact these scholarships or awards.
  • The general types of aid available to Bryan College students and federal student loan limits will not change.
  • The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
  • The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you’ll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024-25 application. Families with significant reductions in income can contact the financial aid office to discuss a special circumstance request.
  • Bryan College admission application deadlines will not change.
  • The questions regarding an applicant’s gender, race, and ethnicity will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and are included for statistical purposes and data collection only. In fact, Bryan College won’t even receive this data from the FAFSA.


Bryan College’s Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community. Due to the significant amount of changes that are occurring, portions of our website may not yet be 100% accurate for the 2024-2025 academic year. We’ll continue to update this page as we receive more information from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid, and appreciate your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.

Making Bryan Affordable

A college education is an investment in your future. At Bryan College, our Financial Aid Office provides the resources and advice necessary to finance your degree. We have a wide selection of scholarships and grants, ranging from $500 to full tuition.

Students Walking

Apply for Financial Aid

We’ve laid out a step-by-step process to connect you with the financial aid that will make your Bryan College experience more affordable.

You must be accepted for admission in order to receive financial aid. Apply now.

The FSA ID serves as your account identifier to access and complete the FAFSA.  An FSA ID is needed for the student and anyone else who is needed to help fill out the FAFSA. You can create an account/FSA ID here: https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch

If you want to be considered for need-based financial assistance, you will need to complete and submit the FAFSA. All students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens on or shortly after December 2023. Include Bryan College as a school on your application.

School Code: 003536
College Name: Bryan College
Address: 721 Bryan Drive, Dayton, TN 37321

About 30% of our students are selected for the verification process. If you are selected, you will receive a request for signed copies of tax documents. 

Award letters to accepted students begin mailing in March and are posted in MyBryan. Details are in your financial aid package. 

Financial Aid Verification

Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of certain information reported by you and your parents or spouse on the FAFSA. Each year approximately 30% of student applicants nationwide are randomly selected by the Federal Central Processing System for verification. You may also be selected by the College. There are four classifications of verification for which you may be selected. These different classifications require different types of information to be verified by the Financial Aid Office. If you are selected, the Financial Aid Office will identify which classification of verification that must be performed and notify you of the required documentation that you and your parents or spouse must submit to validate the information used to file the FAFSA.

The three classifications of verification are:

  • Income Verification
  • Authentication Verification
  • Aggregate Verification

Because of the large role that financial aid plays in the college decision process for first-time freshman and transfer students, new students considering Bryan College who are selected for verification will be pre-packaged with a preliminary award based on unverified FAFSA data.  The financial aid package will not be official and no aid will be disbursed to the student account until verification is complete.

Continuing/returning students selected for verification will not be packaged until verification is complete. In general, current students can expect and plan for a similar financial aid package from year to year as long as family financial circumstances have not changed and the student continues to meet all requirements related to academic or talent-based scholarships.

Once the required documentation is received, the Financial Aid Office will compare the submitted documents to the information initially provided on your FAFSA. If there are any discrepancies with the information initially provided on the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will make the corrections and you will receive an updated Student Aid Report (SAR). Occasionally the documentation that was provided to the Financial Aid Office does not provide all of the necessary information to complete the verification process. In these situations, you will be contacted by a Financial Aid staff member outlining the additional documentation that is needed. Two to three weeks after the verification process is complete you will receive your official award notification.

If you were not initially selected for verification and an official award letter was sent, but subsequently, a correction was made to your FAFSA, you may then be selected for verification. If you are selected for verification your financial aid will be placed on hold until the verification process has been completed.  If the process requires our office to make corrections to your FAFSA and those changes necessitate a change in your financial aid award you will receive a revised award letter within two to three weeks that will replace your previous award offer.

For maximum aid consideration and to ensure that your financial aid eligibility is established and confirmed promptly, we strongly encourage you to complete the verification process within 15 DAYS of notification.  Contact the Financial Aid Office if you experience any issues or foresee a delay in meeting this requirement. We are ready to assist you in successfully completing this process in a timely manner.

Step by step instructions for requesting a tax transcript

The Financial Aid Office has the authority to adjust data used to calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI) based on the following special circumstances:

  • Loss of job (must be for at least 10 weeks)
  • Change in a job (reduction in earnings)
  • Reduction in earnings with the same employer
  • Loss of unemployment benefits
  • Loss of disability benefits
  • Loss of child support
  • Loss of social security benefits
  • Loss of worker’s compensation benefits
  • Divorce/legal separation of parents or divorce/legal separation from spouse after the FAFSA was
  • Death of a parent or spouse after the FAFSA was filed
  • Medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance but paid out of pocket during the last tax year
  • Private School Tuition
  • Unusually high childcare costs
  • Converted a regular IRA to a Roth IRA

Contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@bryan.edu if you have questions or want to request a Professional Judgment for any of the special circumstances listed above.

Downloadable Forms

Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid recipients must demonstrate through their scholastic records that they are making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their program(s) of study in order to maintain eligibility for enrolling in classes and receiving any form of federal, state, or College financial assistance. Academic progress for financial aid is measured at the end of each term utilizing qualitative and quantitative standards.

Credit Definitions

Credits attempted are defined as all classes for which a student receives a passing grade (“D-“ or better, “P”, or “S*”), or an “F”, “I”, “W”, “WP”, “WF”, “AW”, “NR” or “U*”. Credits earned are defined as all classes for which a student receives a passing grade (“D-“ or better, “P”, or “S”). Repeated courses count as credits attempted during each term the student is enrolled in the course; however, the highest grade will be counted once as credits earned. Credits transferred from other institutions are awarded a “P” and are included in the qualitative and quantitative calculations.

Qualitative Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility

This standard measures a student‘s quality of performance in terms of credits earned and Bryan College cumulative grade point average (GPA), as shown below.

Credit Hours EarnedCumulative GPA
56 & above2.0


Quantitative Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility

This standard has two components: maximum time frame and course completion rate. The maximum time frame in which a student must complete a program of study cannot exceed 150 percent of the published program length measured in credit hours attempted. Example: A student pursuing a program that contains 120 hours would be allowed to attempt a maximum of 180 hours [120 x 150 percent (1.5) = 180].

The number of hours attempted includes any transfer hours accepted from other institutions that are applied to the student‘s program of study. In conjunction with the maximum program length, students must successfully complete (measured as credit hours earned) at least 66.67 percent of all coursework attempted as they progress through their program of study. This is a cumulative process, illustrated as follows: A student has maintained satisfactory academic progress for the first two terms of enrollment. However, at the end of the third term, the student‘s academic transcript indicates 45 hours attempted and 27 hours earned. The course completion rate is 60.0 percent (27 divided by 45). The student does not meet the required 66.67 percent standard and thus will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following term.

Financial Aid Warning

A student who does not meet satisfactory academic progress standards is placed on Financial Aid Warning for one term, during which the student is eligible to receive financial aid. If the student meets the standards at the end of the probationary term, the student is removed from Financial Aid Warning status and maintains financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet the standards at the end of the probationary term, the student is placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

A student on Financial Aid Suspension is not eligible for any form of federal, state, or College financial assistance and remains ineligible until satisfactory academic progress standards in Bryan College courses are met.

Appeal Process

A student who feels mitigating circumstances existed that adversely affected the student‘s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress may submit a written appeal within five business days of receiving notification of the suspension status. This appeal should be directed to the Director of Financial Aid. The Financial Aid Advisory Committee will hold a hearing in a timely manner to hear the appeal. The committee is chaired by the Director of Financial Aid as a non-voting member except in the eventuality of a tie. Other members are the Vice President of Enrollment Management, the Dean of Students, and the current faculty chair. The student is allowed to bring documentation, address the committee, and have other people speak on his behalf. The committee votes by secret ballot. If a student‘s appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term. After the Financial Aid Probation term the student must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress or must successfully follow an academic plan. If the student‘s appeal is not approved the student has no additional recourse.