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Financial Aid and Scholarships

2024-25 FAFSA

Starting with the 2024-25 school year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been simplified to improve and expand access to student aid. Due to the signficance of these changes, the FAFSA will be available this year in December.

Filing Your FAFSA: Simplified

The FAFSA application is typically available on October 1 each year, but for the 2024-25 school year,  it was delayed until December 2023. It is currently available but please be mindful of intermediate outages as the FAFSA is still in its soft launch phase. Schools will not receive FAFSA records until mid-March at the earliest.

Follow the steps below to access and complete the FAFSA:

  1. Go to the Federal Student Aid website.
  2. Create an FSA ID. If you already have an FSA ID, it is not necessary to create a new one.
  3. Answer the student questions and provide consent and access to FTI.
  4. Invite contributors to complete their portion of the FAFSA.
  5. The application is complete when the student and all contributors have completed and submitted the required information.

For help completing the FAFSA, the Federal Student Aid Information Center offers live chat support. Should you have any questions about the financial aid process, email us at uscfaid@sc.edu or give us a call at 803-777-8134.

Important Changes

Below is a list of changes that you will see on the 2024-25 FAFSA application. We will continue to add updates as they become available.

A Federal Student Aid identification (FSA ID) is required for everyone who will be a contributor to the FAFSA.

  • A contributor is anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA. This includes the student, parent(s), stepparent(s), or a spouse. A student’s answers on the FAFSA will determine who should contribute information to the FAFSA.
  • Contributors will create a FSA ID using their Social Security Number (SSN). If a contributor does not have a SSN , they must complete a knowledge-based identity authentication process to create their FSA ID. This will allow anyone, including undocumented contributors, to create a FSA ID. It may take 1-3 days before the FSA ID can be used to access the FAFSA.
  • To invite a contributor to complete their portion of the FAFSA, the student will need to provide the contributor’s name, date of birth, SSN (if they have one), and email address.

Students and contributors must provide consent once for each award year. Once consent is provided, it cannot be revoked for that year. If a contributor does not provide consent, the FAFSA will be considered incomplete and aid eligibility will not be calculated. Students and contributors must consent to having their Federal Tax Information (FTI):

  • Transferred from the IRS.
  • Used to determine eligibility for student aid.
  • Shared with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV aid.

The Direct Data Exchange (DDX) will replace the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Students and contributors are required to use the FUTURE Act Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) to transfer tax information from the IRS to the FAFSA or to confirm non-filing status. Contributors cannot manually enter their FTI on the FAFSA.

Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI will be used to determine aid eligibility and the following changes will occur: Family size will be based on the number of people claimed as exemptions on tax forms filed for the people reported on the FAFSA. In addition, the family size may be modified during the aid year if it is no longer an accurate reflection of family size. Also, the number of family members in college will no longer be used to calculate aid eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you already have an FSA ID, you do not need to create a new FSA ID. Your current FSA ID will still be valid.

No. Each contributor must have their own FSA ID or StudentAid.gov account.

For a student to be considered eligible for Title IV federal aid, all contributors  must provide consent and approval.

The information required when inviting a contributor (student, independent student's spouse, or dependent student's parent) to complete the FAFSA includes the contributor's:
  • Legal name (from their Social Security Card);

  • Date of birth;

  • Social Security Number (SSN) if they have one;

  • Mailing address if they don't have an SSN; and

  • Email address.

 


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