Mastering the FAFSA: Tips for Filing in the 2024-25 Academic Year

Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step in securing financial support for college.

However, the 2024-25 academic year has brought about changes and delays to the FAFSA process.

To help students navigate these challenges, we have compiled essential tips to ensure a successful FAFSA filing experience.

1. Create an FSA ID

To kickstart the FAFSA process, it is crucial to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID for both students and parents.

This unique identifier verifies your identity and allows access to the FAFSA. Creating the FSA ID early expedites the filing process. 

2. Understand the New Form

The 2024-25 FAFSA introduces several changes that may cause confusion. Notably, students can only view and complete their section, and parents' sections remain hidden.

Make sure all sections are accurately completed. Seek help from professionals or resources to ensure thorough completion. 

3. Patience is Key

The current FAFSA system may experience technical glitches and bugs. Many users have reported being logged out mid-process, causing frustration.

If possible, considering delaying the start of your application submission to allow the Department of Education more time to work through these issues. 

4. Leverage the IRS Data-Retrieval Tool

To expedite the process, take advantage of the IRS data-retrieval tool integrated into the FAFSA.

By auto-populating certain information, this tool saves time. However, it is crucial to review the data for accuracy before submission.

5. Follow Up with Colleges

After submitting your FAFSA, it is crucial to follow up with the colleges you are applying to.

Ensure they have received your FAFSA and CSS Profile (if applicable) before the deadline. Use the applicant status portal to verify submission. Contact the admissions team promptly if any issues arise. 

6. Accurately Report Assets

While completing the FAFSA, avoid misreporting your assets, such as retirement accounts or home value, as it may impact your eligibility for federal aid.

Familiarize yourself with the guidelines for reporting assets accurately. Seek professional advice if needed.


Filing the FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year may present challenges due to system issues and changes to the form. By following these tips, students can increase their chances of a successful FAFSA filing experience.

Stay informed, seek professional assistance if needed, and submit your FAFSA accurately and on time to maximize your eligibility for financial aid opportunities.

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