The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form has undergone changes, featuring a redesigned format with a reduction in the number of questions. Media reports on early glitches with the updated form are prompting questions and concerns. However, Wayne State University financial aid officials encourage all current students – and applicants –to fill out the new FAFSA sooner rather than later (Wayne State’s school code is 002329).
“The earlier students file, if there are any issues with their application, we can correct it and we can get them ready to be awarded and have their financial aid disbursed before the fall semester begins,” said Cathy Kay, director of the Office of Financial Aid.
Kay says filing early is especially important for applicants.
“We encourage all students to file early, but especially incoming students,” said Kay. “We have extended our priority deadline for Heart of Detroit and the Wayne State Guarantee to April 1. Anybody that files after that may not be eligible.”
Despite the rocky rollout, Kay says students should find the new FAFSA is streamlined and more efficient. The maximum number of questions has been reduced from 108 to 46, and some students will answer as few as 18 questions, which could take less than 10 minutes.
“If students have any problems with accessing the form, they should take a break, have some patience and try again later,” said Kay. “The Department of Education is correcting issues every day as they occur.”
Students with specific questions can contact the Student Service Center.
The FAFSA form is normally available in October, but due to the overhaul it just became available on Dec. 30.
Kay again stresses all students should file a FAFSA.
“It’s possible that a student who was previously ineligible is now eligible, and regardless it is a free form, and it’s simplified,” said Kay.
Wayne State is hosting free FAFSA Friday events beginning Jan. 19 through February to assist parents and students with the filing process.