Changes to 2024 FAFSA Mean Applying Early is More Important Now than Ever

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid — commonly known as FAFSA — has undergone significant changes and will be released in December 2023, two months later than in years past. To maximize their opportunity to secure need-based aid, students should start their financial aid process as soon as possible by completing the GT Application for Scholarships and Financial Aid, which is available now.

The new 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is normally released in October each year, will be released in December 2023 to accommodate the changes made to the application in accordance with the FAFSA Simplification Act. In order to maximize opportunities for financial aid, students should plan ahead by completing the Georgia Tech Application for Scholarships and Financial Aid (GT App). The GT App launched October 1 and only takes a few minutes to complete.

“Even though the FAFSA is delayed, it can be extremely helpful for both students and the financial aid office to fill out the GT App now,” explained Jennifer Mullins, associate director of special projects in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. “That information helps us identify which students need what kinds of aid, which helps us get the appropriate forms and information to those who need it.”

By filling out the GT App, students will be able to access follow-up forms to be considered for institutional scholarships and other types of aid. They’ll also get reminders of any upcoming deadlines for the aid they want to apply to receive.

The priority deadline to apply for financial aid at Georgia Tech remains January 31. Students are advised to complete their FAFSA as soon as the new form is released to accommodate the shortened timeline.

“Even though the FAFSA will be delayed this year, we still need to get everyone’s aid packages out in the appropriate time frame,” said Mullins. “In order for everyone to be informed of their financial options, it is key that students prepare for the changes and get a head start.”

The sooner Georgia Tech receives a student’s financial information, the sooner they can prepare for the financial needs of the student body.

Though the FAFSA changes may bring an additional layer of complexity this year, Mullins noted that it is important to keep in mind the ultimate goal of the FAFSA Simplification Act:  simplifying the financial aid application process for students and their families.

“Students and parents can hopefully expect to have an easier time navigating the FAFSA this year than before,” said Mullins. “Especially if they get all their materials together ahead of time and fill out the GT App early.”

Announcements and resources to understand the changes being made to the FAFSA can be found here. Review the steps for current students to apply for financial aid for the 2024-25 cycle here, and for incoming students here. Contact the financial aid office with any questions.