Facebook Pixel

The FAFSA is changing

Change can be confusing—but you can navigate the latest changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process with ease.

We’re here to help.

Nearly 100% of students at the University of Lynchburg receive some sort of financial aid. Getting financial aid at any institution begins with completing your FAFSA.

It’s the one application you need to open the door to grants, loans, Lynchburg scholarships, and work study opportunities.

This year, the Department of Education is making changes to how and when the FAFSA is completed, including fewer questions and better ways to determine who needs aid. The changes are meant to make higher education available to more families and a simpler process for everyone.

Every institution of higher learning in the U.S. is experiencing these changes at the same time. It can feel confusing, but we’re here to make it as simple as possible for you.

Update: 12/13/23

Here's what we know:

  • The FAFSA will open on Dec. 31. This is a shift from the usual Oct. 1 opening due to the extensive nature of the updates.
  • The changes are aimed at making the process more accessible and user-friendly.
  • Upon submission, students will receive immediate feedback, including an estimate of their student aid eligibility.
  • Introduction of the Student Aid Index (SAI): This replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • The SAI calculation will no longer consider the number of family members attending college.
  • Parent of Record Determination: For divorced or separated parents, the criteria for the parent of record has changed to the one providing the most financial support over the past 12 months.
  • There’s now a mandatory requirement for all FAFSA contributors to consent to IRS data exchange. No consent. No federal financial aid. This could also affect institutional aid.
  • Students can now add up to 20 colleges on their FAFSA.
  • Grandparent contributions through 529 plans won’t affect financial aid eligibility

Here's what we don't know yet:

  • It’s still unclear how the SAI calculation will impact individual financial aid packages.
  • We don’t fully understand how the removal of family size consideration in the SAI will impact families with multiple students in college.
  • Given the significant changes, the extent of potential processing delays for applications is uncertain.
  • We don’t know how these changes will play out over the long term, especially in terms of compliance and user experience.

When we know more, so will you!

Recommendations and Resources

Explore these useful updates, tools, and resources to help you navigate the process this year.

Do Yourself a Favor—Get Your FSA ID Now.

Because the FAFSA opens on Dec. 31 instead of its typical opening date in October, the rush of people going to file will likely slow down the process.

However, you don’t have to wait until the FAFSA opens to take your first step. When you create your FSA ID now, you can help beat the rush and be at the front of the line for your financial aid award.

Please note there will be a delay between the opening of the FAFSA and the moment when colleges and universities can view your information. Your information won’t be available for us to see until the end of January.

Net Price Calculator

Even though the FAFSA is changing, the personalized financial support you’ve come to expect from the University of Lynchburg is not. Use our net price calculator right now to get a general idea of how much aid you’ll be eligible to receive.

Videos to help you navigate the FAFSA process.

University of Lynchburg | 1501 Lakeside Drive | Lynchburg, VA 24501-3113| 434.544.8100

Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement