It’s been a primary source of financial aid for college degree seekers in the United States since President Johnson signed the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA). Receiving its current name with the 1992 HEA reauthorization, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been issued in a new, improved format for 2024-2025, thanks to the FAFSA Simplification Act. This is welcome news for all Americans who plan to request federal aid for a college degree program. Details are below, but the tl;dr version is this:  

More people are now eligible for federal financial aid through the new FAFSA, and they can complete the 2024-2025 application in considerably less time. 

Features of the New FAFSA  

Here are some of the changes FAFSA applicants can expect to see: 

  • The application has been streamlined from 108 questions to a maximum of 36—a reduction of two-thirds. Some applicants will now be able to finish the application in under 10 minutes.  
  • 610,000 new students from low-income backgrounds will now qualify for Federal Pell Grants, which, unlike loans, do not need to be repaid. 
  • Applicants are no longer required to enter in their federal tax information; it will automatically be added to the form. 
  • Previously available in just two languages, the new FAFSA will offer 11 language choices. 
  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the previous application has been replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI), which helps institutions determine the amount of federal aid a student will receive.  

Our Financial Aid Experts Are Ready to Help With FAFSA 

Wondering how the new FAFSA will specifically benefit UT Permian Basin and its students? Due to a change in how the Department of Education calculates eligibility, “there’s going to be a lot more students here at UTPB that are going to be eligible for a Pell Grant,” explained Dr. Scott Lapinski, Director of Financial Aid for The University of Texas Permian Basin. “So, it’s going to help us stretch our Falcon Free dollars further to help more students because it’s going to be less money that we have to use from Falcon Free.” Exclusive to UTPB, Falcon Free is a scholarship that enables qualifying Texas residents to earn a bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket tuition costs or mandatory fees. 

Led by Dr. Lapinski, UT Permian Basin’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is dedicated to helping students understand the funding options available to them, including the new FAFSA. “I ensure that my staff attends conferences and webinars so that they know of all the changes that are coming out,” Lapinski explained. “We get the students started [on the FAFSA], let them work through it, and then if they have any questions we’re there to help them.” 

Choose From Dozens of Online Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs 

UT Permian Basin offers 36 online degree programs at the time of this writing, and there are more to come. Upon qualification, you can use funds obtained through FAFSA to earn your MBA in one of several in-demand specializations, get started on a bachelor’s degree in a variety of rewarding disciplines, prepare for new roles as an educator, education leader, or nursing leader, and more, all online. Browse our current online degree programs now: 

Online Undergraduate Degrees 
Online Graduate Degrees 

Get started! Your first step is to apply to an online UTPB degree program. Then complete and submit the FAFSA. Please note, you must be accepted to a UTPB degree program and register for classes before you receive federal funds. 

Have questions about financial aid? Review our financial aid options or email your questions to our financial aid team.