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Guide to the 2024 FAFSA

What’s Happening With the FAFSA?

For the past several years, the FAFSA has been available starting on October 1 for students to submit for aid that they will be using the following school year. On January 30, 2024, the U.S. Department of Education announced that universities would not be receiving FAFSA applicant information until at least March of 2024.

This means that even students who have been able to submit their FAFSA will not have their data transmitted to their intended colleges until this release of information.

Help is Here

At SEU, we understand that the financial aid process can already feel overwhelming, and this delay is probably causing you to feel concerned about your next steps. That’s why we’ve created this page of information and resources just for you!

Visit each link to the right to find the information you need, and contact us with any questions.

Quick Tip: As you wait to hear back about the financial aid you’ve been awarded, our cost calculator can help you as you plan.

Prepare for College While You Wait for the FAFSA

You Won’t Miss Out!

All colleges and students are equally affected as we wait on the FAFSA, so you’re not alone! SEU will still personalize your financial aid offer, and you’ll still receive all of the aid for which you’re eligible. The timeline is just different this year.

It’s frustrating, yes, but the good news is that you don’t have to wait for the FAFSA to make strides in your college application and financial aid journey! 

Here’s what you can do while you’re waiting.

Review the information on the rest of this page for full details on what’s happening with the FAFSA.

Here’s a checklist of everything you need to fill out the FAFSA.

  • 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 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.)

The new FAFSA form is actually live now, and while many people have reported system problems, there are still a lot of families who have successfully submitted their applications. So, set aside time to apply, keeping in mind you may need to make several attempts. 


Once you can complete the FAFSA application, your information will be in the system and will be able to be sent to SEU when the Department of Education releases it in the coming weeks. (Don’t forget to use SEU’s FASFA code, 001521.)

Your SEU application is ready when you are, so if you haven’t applied yet, now is a great time to start! Visit, and enter the code FAFSA24 to apply for FREE! (Might as well start off saving some money now, right?) You can also find SEU on Common App. 

Need application help? Check out this step-by-step guide to the admission process.

Once you’re accepted, be sure to use your personalized acceptance link to save your spot at SEU! Be sure to keep an eye on your SEU email for information about early orientation opportunities.

Note: We’d love to have you as part of the Fire Family, but remember, if your plans have to change, we offer deposit reimbursement through June 1, so you have nothing to lose by saving your spot.

See SEU for yourself! The best way to know that SEU is the right place for you is to visit, so register for one of our upcoming SEU Preview events or book a personal tour at

Your SEU enrollment counselor is your go-to expert on all things SEU! They’re a terrific resource to answer questions about admission, financial aid, classes, campus life, and much more. Head to to find yours.

We offer more than 80 undergraduate degrees in a wide range of fields! Not sure what you want to major in yet? We’ve got you. SEU’s innovative Foundational Core Experience is designed to give you the freedom to help you explore your calling, feel more confident in your choice of major, and ultimately set you up for a high level of success after graduation — all without extending the time it will take to complete your degree.

Since the FAFSA is mainly used to determine eligibility for state and federal aid, you can still apply for many non-need-based scholarships, including many SEU scholarships and those offered by third parties. Your school guidance counselor or college and career counselor is also a great resource for finding applicable scholarships and grants.

Three students sitting on couches talking in Portico Coffeehouse

As you hear back about the financial aid you’ve been awarded, our cost calculator can help you as you plan.

If you come across any need-based scholarships that you can’t apply for without a FAFSA, but the application requires an essay, go ahead and get it written. That way, you’ll be ready to apply once the FAFSA data is released. Get some writing tips here.

Scholarships and grants aren’t the only ways to offset your educational expenses. Check out this list of additional options, such as no-interest payment plans and on-campus jobs.

The more you understand, the better! Check out our financial aid glossary for some of the most common terms you’ll see.

Even if your financial aid is still in progress, getting accepted to SEU is definitely a cause for celebration! On #NationalDecisionDay on May 1, wear your SEU shirt proudly at school and on social media, and be sure to share your excitement with us @seuniversity.

So many things make being a part of the Fire Family great! Check out these handy links to discover all the wonderful experiences that are waiting for you.

Follow us @seuniversity to keep up to date on campus happenings, see your future classmates enjoying campus life, and learn more about SEU.

If your final aid package is not what you expected, our enrollment and financial aid teams are here to help you find additional aid sources to make your dream of coming to SEU a reality.

Remember that God is with you every step of the way on your path to SEU, during your time here, and for the rest of your life. Trust in Him, and know that our SEU community is praying for you as you prepare for these next steps.


About the FAFSA Delay

The FAFSA has historically been lengthy, so the Department of Education (DOE) recently made major changes to simplify it (as was required by Congress). Several of these changes should make completing the FAFSA faster and easier, both for students who are applying for aid for the first time and for those who are reapplying for aid. These changes to the form have resulted in a delay in the launch of its finalized version.

A “soft launch” of the updated form was released on December 30, 2023. Students may submit their FAFSA using this form, however, the form has experienced some technical difficulties and not all students who have tried have been able to finalize and submit their forms. 

  • Length: The new FAFSA will be considerably shorter. The simplified form is only about 30 questions (down from about 100). 
  • Tax Information: The form will rely almost exclusively on information from a family’s tax information from the prior-prior year. The answers to several questions may be populated automatically using your and your parents’ federal tax data, meaning you may not need to enter this information manually.  See the breakdown of tax years here.
    Pro Tip: It’s still a good idea to keep your tax forms on hand for backup documentation, and to more easily verify that the pre-populated data is correct.
  • You’ll See SAI instead of EFC: The term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being phased out. Going forward, you will see the term Student Aid Index (SAI) used as a factor in determining your financial need. (Note that the SAI is calculated differently than the EFC, though both have a similar goal.)

The English and Spanish versions of the new FAFSA have a tool that can give you an early estimate of your SAI and federal financial aid. This means that after submitting the FAFSA, you may be able to estimate your federal financial aid award and your SAI. It’s important to note that this estimate refers only to the federal aid for which you may qualify. 

Your official, personalized financial aid offer will not be able to be generated by any college until the Department of Education releases FAFSA data (which is expected to be sent out in stages, with an estimated timeframe beginning sometime in March). Once your data is received, it needs to be processed by each college’s financial aid system. At SEU, we are working diligently to have our systems prepared for this data, though we cannot estimate processing speed at this time.

Important! Non-need-based aid, such as scholarships earned by academic merit, do not require FAFSA data. These scholarships each have their own award timelines as to when you will be notified if you qualify. All of these scholarships can be applied directly to your SEU Cost of Attendance.

Not necessarily! While many scholarships generally prefer for you to have a FAFSA on file, this year, many are not requiring it for application submission. 

  • For example, scholarships earned according to academic merit, performance, athletics, or other non-need-based factors do not require FAFSA data. You may apply for these scholarships now, and apply the awarded funds directly to your SEU Cost of Attendance.
  • Once SEU receives your FAFSA data, we will automatically award you any additional need-based aid for which you qualify (you won’t have to apply separately).
  • Visit to see the options available from SEU.

No. College savings plans are independent of the FAFSA. Contact a representative from the savings plan institution with any questions on how to apply these funds toward your SEU Cost of Attendance.

General FAFSA Questions

You don’t! You can access on a mobile device or request a printout of the FAFSA PDF – in English or Spanish – by calling 800.4.FED.AID (800.433.3243).

No. Filing the FAFSA is free — it’s right there in the name! Avoid any website or mobile app that requires a payment — that means it’s a scam and isn’t the official FAFSA site. 

The simplified FAFSA form asks less questions than the old form, and many are answered by importing federal tax information (FTI) directly from the IRS. The new form is also easier to understand. If you have questions, there’s step-by-step help within the form and on

The FAFSA uses what’s called “prior-prior” year taxes, and starting this year, federal tax information (FTI) will automatically populate in your FAFSA once you and your parent(s) have provided consent. For the 2024–2025 school year, tax information from 2022 will be used. Learn more here.

Not necessarily. There are many situations when you only need one parent’s information to complete the FAFSA – and you might not even need that. The FAFSA considers many different family situations, and so will the SEU Office of Student Financial Services. The FAFSA form will have a “parent wizard” that will guide you through which parent(s) will need to provide information on the FAFSA.

About SEU Institutional Aid

SEU students will automatically qualify for academic merit scholarships based on a combination of factors, such as GPA. SEU is test-optional for admission and financial aid. Get more details here.

Bonus: These scholarships are renewable for 4 years! (up to 8 consecutive semesters)

For Florida Residents

The FAFSA does not affect your ability to qualify for Florida Bright Futures or the Florida EASE Grant. 

If you have the Florida Prepaid College Program, you can use funds from your plan as usual. (For specifics, visit

Federal Student Aid Resources

The home of federal student aid and the FAFSA form. There’s also a new Financial Aid Estimator Tool, which gives you a first look at how much aid you could be eligible for when you answer a few quick questions about your family and yourself.

This channel (run by the division of the U.S. Department of Education that administers the FAFSA) provides short, easy to understand videos. In addition to the usual options, additional videos have been added with information about the 2024 delays.

4 students in Steelman Library studying

From tips for completing your FAFSA to understanding the truth about common financial aid misconceptions, these articles will give you the latest information and help you along your financial aid journey.

Connect with Student Financial Services

Your SEU Enrollment Counselor is also a great resource for financial aid help — and for helping you find everything you need to feel at home at SEU. Find your enrollment counselor here.

Information for students earning their undergraduate degree online can be found here. Master’s and doctoral students can find financial information here.