Financial Aid and Scholarships

Understanding FAFSA Simplification - Campus Partners

The FAFSA Simplification Actwill streamline the application process for federal aid applicants by reducing the number of questions on the FAFSA form and providing a direct data exchange with the IRS. The Act will also expand eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and reduce barriers for some populations of students.

State and institutional aid programs are also dependent on the federal aid process, including the California Dream Act Application (CADAA), Cal Grant, Middle Class Scholarship, and State University Grant awarding. We are working closely with our colleagues at the California Student Aid Commission and the CSU Chancellor's Office to understand and prepare for the downstream changes at the state and campus levels for 2024-2025.

The Cal Poly Pomona Financial Aid & Scholarships Office is dedicated to keeping our campus community updated. Continue to check back in as we post additional resources and share important updates.

Latest FAFSA Updates

The new FAFSA has been a pain point for some students and families struggling to fill it out as they experience technical glitches and other obstacles.  The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is compiling a list of 2024-2025 FAFSA Issue Alerts, and providing workarounds when available.

Be sure to check back frequently as new issues are added and older ones are resolved.

We are committed to supporting all students and their families. We recognize the multiple challenges faced by students and families trying to access and submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA, especially those trying to apply for an FSA ID trhough the new federal process. We are acutely aware that our students from mixed-status families, i.e., eligible students whose parent contributor(s) do not have a Social Security Number, are currently unable to submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

  • On February 20, 2024, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will, in "the first half of March," provide a permanent fix for FAFSA applicants who have been unable to complete and submit their forms because one or more of their required contributors does not have a Social Secuirty Number. Applicants in this situation should wait until the permanent fix has been implemented to submit their FAFSA.

We understand the application barriers faced by our mixed-status families are beyond the student's control. Our goal is to ensure students facing these barriers receive the maximum amount of federal, state, and institutional financial aid they are eligible for in the 2024-2025 academic year once the FAFSA is processed.

In the meantime, students and their contributors should create the FSA ID as soon as possible if they have not already done so. For those who are unable to to create the FSA ID due to system barriers, we are here for them and will continue to work with them.

Creating an FSA ID for Non-SSN Contributor (English language) (pdf)

Creating an FSA ID for Non-SSN Contributor (Spanish language) (pdf)


Overview of FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act passed on Dec. 27, 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the FAFSA form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in the federal student aid (Title IV) programs.

Federal Student Aid will be implementing the FAFSA Simplification Act alongside the FAFSA portion of the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act which authorizes a direct data exchange with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to complete the FAFSA form.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021:

Future Act -

  • Allows the Department of Education to automatically obtain federal tax information from the IRS for students, parents, and other contributors (such as a spouse or stepparent).
  • Requires consent from students and other contributors separately.

FAFSA Simplification Act -

  • Introduces significant changes to the FAFSA application process, including changes to the FAFSA form.
  • Changes in how students complete the application.
  • Changes in eligibility calculation. 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022:

FAFSA Simplification Technical Corrections Act -

  • Extended FAFSA simplification timeline.
  • Updated language associated with Cost of Attendance (COA)
  • Provided additional flexibility for assisting students with unusual circumstances.
  • Modified the terms and conditions for students that qualify for Pell Grant funds based upon meeting special conditions currently associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and the Children of Fallen Heroes Grant.

While financilal aid applications will overall become easier for students, a new need-analysis formula will influence student aid. New restricitions will be implemented on access to FAFSA data, as ED has provided clarification on what FAFSA elements can and cannot be shared - as well as when a student must provide written authorization to the financial aid office to permit sharing.

Some additional impacts to our campus partners include:

  • Updates to consumer information that must be publicly available to applicants and families
  • Outreach materials may need to be updated
  • PeopleSoft functionality needed to support initial financial aid processing will be delayed until early March
  • Information systems will need to be updated and modified to handle new data fields and new types of data.
  • Eligibility criteria for need-based scholarships, grants, and waivers will need to be updated due to the change to the Student Aid Index and elimination of EFC
  • Reports or queries that point to financial aid or FAFSA data will need to have new versions created
  • Requests for Financial Aid data may be delayed
  • Financial Aid Offers for admitted students will be delayed until April

  • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent(s), and stepparent(s) for example.
  • Consent: each contributor will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return.

  • Family Size: relaces household size.  The family size will be a number from the IRS related to the number of exemptions claimed on the federal tax returns. Note: there will be an option to change that number if it no longer reflects the accurate family size.
  • SAI: Student Index Aid (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Watch this video about the new Student Aid Index.

  • Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange: This is the new name for the process of bringing over information from the IRS.  The previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is being retired and replaced by the direct data exchange. Watch this video about the new Direct Data Exchange.

  • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS. 

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 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 Grant.
  • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
  • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in their need analysis calculation.

Projected FAFSA and Financial Aid Timeline

Below is the projected schedule for 2024-2025 Financial Aid applications and information (updated as of February 26, 2024).

Date Action
December 31, 2023 2024-2025 FAFSA Opens (will initially be available on a limited basis each day throughout January)
Late March, 2024
Cal Poly Pomona receives FAFSA information into our database
Late March 2024
Students and Contributors can make corrections to FAFSA data
April 2, 2024 Priority Filing Deadline for 2024-2025 FAFSA for CA State and CSU financial aid grant programs
April 8 - 10, 2024
Students may be selected for Verification (further review) and items added to their To Do List on Bronco Direct.
April 8 - 10, 2024
Unusual Circumstance Appeal initiated for students with Provisional Independent Status
April 10 - 19, 2024
Aid Package Notifications will be sent by email to Admitted Students
April 20 -30, 2024 CA Student Aid Commission begins providing initial information on Cal Grant eligibility for admitted students
June 1, 2024 Special Circumstance Appeal will be made available (for students or families with significant reductions in income)
June 17 - 28, 2024 Aid Package Notifications will be sent by email to Current / Continuing Students

Resources related to FAFSA Simplification

Resources from Enrollment Management and Services

The following resources from Enrollment Management & Services - and the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarhsips. As more resources are developed they will be added here.

Communications Sent to Students

The following communications have been sent to students from the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarhsips. As more communications are sent they will be added here.

Preparing for the FAFSA Form

Visit YouTube to view the video playlist from Federal Student Aid on Preparing for the FAFSA Form

2024-2025 FAFSA Tutorial

Check out our 24/7 video playlist for a step-by-step video tutorial on completing the FAFSA

2024-2025 FAFSA FAQ Videos

Visit YouTube to view the video FAQ's from Federal Student Aid on the new FAFSA Form

Be sure to check out our other pages related to FAFSA Simplification: