Navigating the New FAFSA®
The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress to streamline the financial aid process for students and families. Among other changes this legislation will reduce the number of questions students see when filing the FAFSA, attempts to clarify the questions that will be asked, and aims to increase Federal Pell Grant eligibility. While in some cases the FAFSA simplification could increase some students’ financial aid eligibility, others may see a decrease in aid.
Where to Start
- View the ‘What’s Changed for the 2024-25 FAFSA Form?‘
- Find out if your parent(s) or spouse will need to be contributors (contribute their info on your FAFSA form).
- If your parent(s) or spouse will need to contribute to your form, make sure each contributor creates their own StudentAid.gov account. Even if a contributor doesn’t have a Social Security number, they will be able to create an account when the 2024–25 form goes live. **There have been delays for this population. The latest update says this will be available in mid-March.
- Watch the “Preparing for the FAFSA Form” playlist to understand what information and documents you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA form.
- Watch the ‘Start Your 2024-25-FAFSA Form.’
- Stay informed about 2024–25 FAFSA changes.
Complete the FAFSA
The 2024-25 FAFSA form was launched with limited availability on December 30, 2023.
- You may still find access to the application is limited as maintenance is performed. Please keep checking back for updates.
- Make sure we get your FAFSA by adding our school code: 003896
- Attending UWM at Waukesha or Washington County? Be sure to use 003896!
- UW Help FAFSA information
Frequently Asked Questions
The acronym FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the first step to determining if you’re eligible for most state and federal financial aid.
At UWM, our school year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term. That means if you wish to be considered for aid for Summer 2024, make sure you submit a 2023-24 FAFSA. If you plan to attend for Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025, or Summer 2025 terms, you should be completing the 2024-25 FAFSA.
If you are submitting the 2024-25 FAFSA, you are required to use your 2022 tax information. All contributors must consent to the IRS Direct Data Exchange which connects your FAFSA to any IRS tax information available, including non-filing status. Some applicants may need to manually enter their tax information, but most will be able to skip over those questions. This also lets the Office of Financial Aid Administration know the information is the most accurate it can be.
Filing now means no mad dash in August to get everything completed before the Fall semester begins. You may have witnessed lines or experienced increased wait times at the beginning of the most recent semester. Avoid that by filing as early as possible!
Because of all the changes to the application process, you’ll see most schools offering aid later than usual. UWM plans to begin notifying students of their financial aid offer in Spring 2024. If you’ll be starting at UWM in Fall 2024 keep an eye on your email for a notification of your aid eligibility.
Once you submit your FAFSA, be sure to monitor your PAWS to-do list! If you’ve been admitted, you have submitted your FAFSA, and there is nothing on your to-do list, all that’s left is to be patient! We will work to offer aid as quickly as possible.
The final date to submit a FAFSA is June 30 AFTER the academic year is over. However, you must still be enrolled in classes for financial aid to be offered. Please keep in mind that some financial aid programs run out of funding pretty quickly. Apply early to give yourself the best chance at receiving all types of aid.
Whether you’re a student, parent, or borrower, you’ll need to create your own account to apply for, receive, and manage your federal student aid.
What You Can Do With Your Account
You must have an account to do the following:
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form online
- Complete other online forms (such as the Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note) required to receive Direct Loans
- Review the federal student aid you’ve received
Here are some tips for making sure you set yours up correctly:
- Create at least 3 business days before completing the FAFSA or in advance here.
- Do not create an account for anyone else.
- Do not use the same email as anyone else when creating.
- Keep a record of your account information to use throughout your academic career.