2024 FAFSA Information Guide

FAFSA Information

Wondering how to start applying for financial aid? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your first step!

The FAFSA is required to apply for most types of financial aid, including all Federal Student Aid programs (such as Federal Pell Grants, Student Loans and Work Study), and SEU grants and scholarships. Here’s what you need to know.

SEU’s code for FAFSA purposes is 001521.

Submitting the FAFSA

Changes to several components of the FAFSA application process began in 2023, which affect the 2024–2025 academic year. Each year’s FAFSA is based on the prior-prior year’s income information. Students (and parents as applicable) will report income information based on the information detailed below.

Note for 2024–25 FAFSA: The Department of Education (DOE) has announced that the 2024–25 FAFSA is available to students and families during a “soft launch” period. Students may begin to submit the FAFSA, but may experience issues or periods of system down time. We anticipate the full launch in the coming weeks. Visit this DOE page for details and updates.

  • Application Opening Date & Income Information — Students were able to file a FAFSA as early as October 1, 2022, using 2021 income information. 
  • Financial Aid Eligibility — The current FAFSA application includes an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used to determine financial aid eligibility.
  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool — The current FAFSA allows families to choose to retrieve data from the IRS using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Application Opening Date & Income Information — Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year open in December of 2023 (not October), and will use 2022 income information. 
  • Financial Aid Eligibility — Starting in the 2024–2025 academic year, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being discontinued. Instead, students will receive a Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • Direct Data Exchange (DDX) — Starting with the 2024–2025 academic year, instead of the optional IRS Data Retrieval Tool, families will be required to consent to have their tax information pulled from the IRS database using a Direct Data Exchange (DDX) on the FAFSA application. This process will feed required tax information directly from the IRS to your FAFSA application.
  • This video from Federal Student Aid is also a great resource.

School Year of Attendance: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024

  • Earliest Submission Date: Beginning October 1, 2022
  • Income Year: 2021
  • Eligibility: EFC
  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool: Optional

School Year of Attendance: July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025

  • Earliest Submission Date: Beginning in December of 2023
  • Income Year: 2022
  • Eligibility: SAI
  • Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX): Required*

School Year of Attendance: July 1, 2025 – June 30, 2026

  • Earliest Submission Date: October 1, 2024**
  • Income Year: 2023
  • Eligibility: SAI
  • Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX): Required*

School Year of
Submission Date
Use of IRS Data
Retrieval Tool

July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024

Beginning October 1, 2022




July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025

During soft launch in January 2024




July 1, 2025 – June 30, 2026

October 1, 2024*




*For 24/25 and forward, the system will not referred to as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. It will be referred to as the FA-DDX (Direct Data Exchange).

**It is anticipated that the FAFSA application window to move back to October 1, 2024, for the 2025-2026 FAFSA application.

Prepare to Submit Your FAFSA

Here’s a checklist of everything you need to fill out the FAFSA, updated for 2024.

  • Your FSA ID
    Do this first! You — and whichever parent(s) will be contributors on your FAFSA — must create a separate FSA ID by each creating an account on studentaid.gov. If an account already exists with your parent(s), they can check to make sure their login is working. You will need your own FSA ID.
  • Your and your parent’s Social Security numbers
    These are necessary for submitting the form. If you’re not a U.S. Citizen but fall into one of the categories that make you eligible for federal financial aid, you’ll also need your A-Number. (If your parent doesn’t have a Social Security Number, that’s okay, just provide their mailing address.)
  • Driver’s license
    If you have one, you’ll need to have it available.
  • SEU’s FAFSA Code, 001521
    Inputting this code when you submit the FAFSA will ensure that SEU receives your information electronically. We will then use this information to help determine some of the types and amounts of financial aid you may be eligible for.
  • Other Money Records
    If applicable, have records of other money earned and the value of your and your parent(s) assets and investments. (Note: This does not include retirement funds.)
  • Tax Information (for reference)
    In previous years, you would have needed your and your parent’s federal income tax returns for the “prior-prior” year. But now, federal tax information (FTI) will automatically populate into your FAFSA once you and your parent(s) have provided consent. (Of course, keeping your own copies of tax forms available for reference is always a good idea.)