The FAFSA Simplification Act introduces significant changes and overhaul to the processes and systems to award federal student aid. This includes the FAFSA form, need analysis, and the many policies and procedures. While some changes began during the 2021-2022 award year, the full implementation will happen during the 2024-2025 academic year. The goal of these changes will make it easier for students and families to apply for federal student aid and to help streamline the process.
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available later in December 2023. The exact date to be announced. Please check back and visit our Financial Aid Announcements page for updates.
- Streamline the application process by reducing the number of questions on the FAFSA and making it easier to transfer tax information directly from the IRS
- List up to 20 colleges on your FAFSA.
- 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available in 11 languages.
- Replacing Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is used
to determine your ability to pay for college and aid eligibility. The minimum SAI will be -1500.
- There will be changes in the methodology used to determine aid:
- Child support received will count as an asset.
- Family farms and business will count as assets.
- The number of family members in college will no longer be considered in the needs analysis formula.
- New terminology being used in the financial aid eligibility process.
- Consent and Approval: Each contributor will be required to provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred from the IRS, have their tax data used to determine the student’s eligibility for aid, and allow the U.S. Department of Education to share their tax information with institutions to administer Title IV aid. The consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in a foreign country.
- Contributor: Anyone who is asked to provide information on the student’s FAFSA. This includes the student, student’s spouse (if applicable), biological or adoptive parent, or the spouse of the remarried parent who is on the FAFSA.
- Federal Tax Information (FTI): Rather than importing tax information from the IRS to FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), application will provide consent to provide their FTI via a direct data share with the IRS.
- Student Aid Index (SAI): The SAI replaces what is formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI is calculated from the information on your FAFSA to determine your family’s ability to pay for college and is used to determine aid eligibility.
- Unusual Circumstances: When a student is unable to contact a parent or contact with the parent poses physical or emotional harm to the student. Students with unusual circumstances will be given a provisional independent status and complete the FAFSA without providing parent information.
For the 2024-2025 FAFSA, a contributor refers to anyone (student, the student’s spouse, biological or adoptive parent, or the parent’s spouse) who is required to provide information on the FAFSA. The answers to the FAFSA will determine which contributor will be required to provide their information and consent. The student or parent will invite contributor to complete their portion of the FAFSA. The contributor’s name, date of birth, SSN, and email address will be needed. If a contributor does not have an SSN, they can still be invited to complete their portion of FAFSA using alternate information.
The process for contributor to provide their information and consent:
- The contributor will receive an email informing them that they have been identified as a contributor.
- Create a StudentAid.gov account (username and password – formerly known as FSA ID) at StudentAid.gov if they do not already have one.
- Review the information about completing their section of the FAFSA; and provide the required personal information, financial information, consent, and approval on the student’s FAFSA. If the contributor does not provide consent and approval to have their FTI transferred into FAFSA, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.
- Watch for emails from the U.S. Department of Education to ensure you don’t miss any important updates.
- Opt in to SMS (text) messages by logging in to your StudentAid.gov account to receive up-to-date notifications and information.
- Follow Federal Student Aid on X (Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook for announcement and resources.
- Ensure you and your contributor(s) have a StudentAid.gov account (username and password – formerly known as FSA ID) if you do not already have one. If you previously completed a FAFSA, you already have a StudentAid.gov account and do not need to create a new one. That is the same for your parent if they signed your FAFSA. If you are a new student completing the FAFSA for the first time for 2024-2025 or if your contributor(s) does not have a StudentAid.gov account, you may create an account on StudentAid.gov.
Contact the Financial Aid Office
Please use your UH email account when communicating with us via email. Please also include your student ID # in your message. If you do not have a UH email account, “Get a UH Username!” to create an account. Our response time for emailed questions may take an estimated 3–5 business days during peak times.
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
96-045 Ala Ike, AD 201 (Student Services Welcome Center)
Pearl City, HI 96782
Phone: (808) 455-0606
Fax: (808) 454-8804
Federal School Code: 004549
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to the parent(s) of classified dependent students who are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to help pay the cost of their educational expenses. PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. These loans are typically awarded to students who do not demonstrate financial need or may be used to supplement a Federal Direct Stafford loan. Parents are expected to begin making payments after the loan is fully disbursed, unless a deferment is requested.
- The parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time
- The parent must not have an adverse credit history; and
- Students must meet all general eligibility requirements for federal student aid.
The interest rate on Federal Direct PLUS Loans is variable/fixed rates. Each year the index rate is determined as the “high yield of the 10-year Treasury note” auctioned at the final auction held prior to the June 1 preceding the July 1 of the year for which the rate will be effective, + 4.60% capped at 10.50%. Once calculated it will be fixed for the life of that loan. View current interest rate for PLUS loan.
There is a loan fee on all Direct Parent PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed. View current loan fee for PLUS loan. The fee goes to the government to help reduce the cost of the loans.
If the parent requests a deferment, they will not need to make payments while the student is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. The parent will also have the option of requesting a deferment as part of the PLUS loan application process or by contacting their loan servicer. If the parent does not request a deferment, they will be expected to begin making payments after the loan is fully disbursed (paid out).
Annual PLUS Loan Eligibility
Eligibility is based on the following equation:
- Cost of Attendance (COA) – Financial Aid Resources = PLUS loan eligibility
For more information, visit our Cost of Attendance.
Apply for a Federal PLUS Loan
If your parent is interested in borrowing a Federal Direct PLUS Loan you and your parent must complete the following steps online:
- The student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form
- The parent must complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application
- The parent must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
For more information on PLUS loans, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Alternative or private loans are another option to consider for financing education. Alternative loans are designed to help students with educational expenses that exceed other financial aid such as grants, scholarships, work-study, and federal loans. FAFSA is not required. Alternative loans are credit-based; therefore, a co-signer may be needed. These loans are made by private organizations such as banks and credit unions and have terms and conditions that are set by the lender. For more information regarding alternative student loans, you may contact your bank or lender of your choice directly.