At Concordia University Texas we understand that navigating the world of financial aid can be daunting. The Concordia Texas FAFSA school code is 003557. Our admissions counselors will walk you through every step of the financial aid process, and we wanted to share some changes that are happening with the FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year.
The FAFSA opens December 31 for the 2024-25 Academic Year
FAFSA Application Availability
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) launches on December 31, 2023, a departure from the usual October launch date in previous years.
What Changes Should You Expect
There are several changes coming to the FAFSA this coming year including, Student Aid Index (SAI) replacing the previously used Expected Family Contribution (EFC), each contributor needing an FSA ID password to digitally sign the FAFSA, families with multiple children in college no longer getting an additional discount, and increased Pell Grant availability.
Preparing For the New FAFSA Changes
To prepare for these changes, we recommend opting into SMS messages from the Department of Education by logging into your StudentAid.gov account, if you do not have one already create your FSA ID early on the Federal Student Aid website and assist your contributors (ex. parent or guardian) in creating an FSA ID, and reviewing the resources provided by the Department of Education.
- Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces the previously used term Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
- Each contributor (student, student spouse, parent(s)) will need an FSA ID password to access and request tax information from the IRS website and sign the FAFSA form digitally.
- There is no longer a discount for having multiple children in college. Previously, financial aid eligibility increased for families with more than one child enrolled in college at the same time. However, under the new FAFSA guidelines, this will no longer be the case.
- Pell Grant Eligibility: Under the new FAFSA guidelines, more families will become eligible for the Pell Grant increasing the access to higher education for more families.
- Stay informed by opting into SMS messages from the Department of Education by logging into your StudentAid.gov account to receive up-to-date notifications and information.
- If you do not have one already, create your FSA ID early on the Federal Student Aid website and assist your contributors (ex. parent or guardian) in creating an FSA ID.
- Review the resources provided by the Department of Education to help you understand these changes.
What is the FAFSA and why should I fill it out?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study programs. You should fill it out to access financial assistance for your education.
When will the FAFSA application be released?
The FAFSA application is currently expected to be released by the Department of Education in December 2023. However, no exact date has been set for the release of the application.
What information do I need to submit the FAFSA?
You'll need your Social Security number, asset information, and a list of schools you're interested in attending. You will also need to give approval to have the IRS information imported into your FAFSA to qualify for federal student aid.
How can I obtain an FSA ID?
You can obtain a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID at fsaid.ed.gov. You need it to electronically sign your FAFSA and access other federal student aid websites.
Do I have to repay grants received through FAFSA?
No, grants, such as the Pell Grant, do not need to be repaid. They are typically awarded based on financial need.
Where can I get help navigating the FAFSA?
For incoming students, our dedicated admissions counselors will walk you through the entire FAFSA process and answer any questions you may have.
Do I have to complete my taxes before filling out the FAFSA?
Since the Department of Education is now asking for "prior-prior year" income tax information for the FAFSA, it is very likely that you will have filed the necessary tax return before you complete your FAFSA. As the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is no longer available, the student/parent must approve the transfer of the income data from the IRA to qualify for federal student aid.
Should I include my parent's information on the FAFSA?
There are a series of questions that are asked on the FAFSA that determine if a student will be considered independent or dependent. These questions also determine whether or not parent information should be included on the FAFSA. If the student answers yes to any of these questions, the FAFSA will define them as an “independent” student, and they will be instructed not to provide parental information on the FAFSA. However, Concordia may need to request additional documents to verify and determine the student's dependency status. If Concordia determines the student is not independent, the student will be instructed to correct the FAFSA and include parental information.
The 2023-2024 questions are:
- Were you born before Jan. 1, 2000?
- Are you a graduate or professional student?
- Are you a veteran?
- Are you a member of the Armed Forces?
- Are you an Orphan?
- Are you a Ward of the Court?
- Are you someone with legal dependents other than a spouse?
What is SAI and why is it important?
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that is used to determine how much federal student aid a student can receive. Our Student Financial Services office uses the SAI to determine whether or not a student will be eligible for need-based aid, non-need-based aid, or a combination of the two.
I filled out the FAFSA and received a Student Aid Report in my email. What do I do
Please retain the Student Aid Report (SAR) for your records. It does not need to be sent to Concordia, as the Department of Education provides us with this information. Check your SAR to see if you have been flagged for Verification. If so, contact your Admissions Counselor (incoming students) or Student Central (current students) to discuss the required documentation. Also, review your SAR for errors. If any are found, log in to your FAFSA, make the appropriate correction(s) and re-submit your FAFSA.
What should I do if my financial situation changes after submitting the FAFSA?
If your financial situation changes after submitting a FAFSA, please contact your Admissions Counselor (incoming students) or Student Central (current students). Depending on the situation, you could qualify for a Special Circumstance. Each situation is unique, and more information would be needed to determine if your financial situation has changed. The Special Circumstance allows revisions, based on professional judgment by the Financial Aid office.
I own a Small Business or Farm; how do these changes to the FAFSA impact me?
Under the previous FAFSA regulations the net worth of farms or businesses with less than 100 employees were exempt from the FAFSA calculations. However, under the new FAFSA Simplification Act, that exemption has been removed.