The 2024-25 FAFSA is live. Here's what you need to know.
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What to know about the current FAFSA launch (updated 4/25/24)

Recent FAFSA updates:

April 25 update: The Department of Education has reported that it has received almost 8.2 million FAFSA forms, and most have been processed. At this time, forms that were affected by tax discrepancies are expected to be reprocessed by May 1.

January 31 update: The Department of Education has reported that colleges and universities will not receive your FAFSA information until the first half of March 2024. This means you may not receive your financial aid offers until around April 2024.

January 10 update: The Department of Education has reported that the FAFSA is now available 24/7 and will no longer experience downtime.

If you plan to attend a postsecondary education program in the 2024 – 2025 school year, you may have heard a lot about the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

While the FAFSA in years past has opened in October, the FAFSA for 2024 – 2025 opened in late December 2023 with a new form. Our recent blog post covers what is different with the new FAFSA.

The FAFSA will be soft-launching first

January 10 update: The Department of Education has reported that the FAFSA is now available 24/7 and will no longer experience downtime.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) announced on December 15, 2023 that the FAFSA will go live by December 31, but they expect December and early January to be a “soft-launch” period. What this means is that the FSA website will go down for maintenance sometimes.

If you are actively working on your FAFSA and the FSA website goes down, it is expected that you will still be able to complete your form at that time. Others who are not already online will not be able to access the form until the maintenance is over.

FAFSA form on a computer screen with rocket made of paper launching in front of it

During this period you might experience a virtual queue or “waiting room” before getting into the FSA website. You might have seen something similar when buying concert or other event tickets online — but unlike with tickets, there’s no need to rush! Everyone who wants to fill out a FAFSA will be able to, it just may take a little extra time.

You can expect to receive an email confirmation when your FAFSA is completed. In this email you will see your FAFSA submission date, your estimated Student Aid Index (SAI), and your estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

Schools will not receive your FAFSA until March*

Even if you fill out your FAFSA in December 2023 or early January 2024, the schools that you sent your FAFSA to (the ones you want to be considered for financial aid for) will not receive this information until the first half of March* 2024. Don’t panic if you don’t hear back right away!

You will get an email when your FAFSA is sent to the schools that you chose. You should start receiving aid information from those schools in the following weeks after that. It may take schools a while to process your information.

* This information was updated on January 31, changing the timeframe from late January 2024 to March 2024.

Details do not transfer to the Vermont Grant application

If you are a Vermont resident and have filled out a FAFSA before, you may remember being able to transfer your FAFSA information into the Vermont Grant application. For the new FAFSA form, you will be directed to the VSAC website to fill out the Vermont Grant application separately. You can access this link on the FAFSA confirmation page. Please note that if you have not applied for a Vermont Grant previously, you may need to create a myVSAC account. Don’t skip this step! The Vermont Grant is free money for Vermont students to attend postsecondary education programs like college or trade school.

Need help with the FAFSA or have questions?