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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020. The act required a significant overhaul of the processes for federal student aid beginning for the 2024-2025 school year. This included updates to the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) form, need analysis and terminology used. Because of these changes, the FAFSA for 2024-2025 did not open until December 31, 2023 in a “soft launch.”


What did the FAFSA Simplification Act Change?

  • Make it quicker and easier to file the FAFSA: The FAFSA should have a maximum of 36 questions, down from 108 the year prior.
  • Who gives financial information: On the FAFSA, a student’s answers will determine who might be considered a “contributor” to the FAFSA (such as a parent, stepparent or spouse). If the FAFSA identifies a contributor, they will receive an email to log in and provide consent to access their financial information using IRS Direct Data Exchange.
  • SAI instead of EFC: The Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be generated after the FAFSA is complete and will be used to determine financial aid offers rather than the previously used Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The biggest changes to the SAI include that the minimum SAI is -1500 (from the EFC minimum of 0) and that the number of students in college will no longer be taken into consideration in the need analysis.
  • Some students will automatically receive maximum Pell Grant: Using federal poverty levels and adjusted gross income, there are some situations in which a student may automatically receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant.
  • Who is the responsible parent in cases of divorce? Previously, parental information in divorce cases came from the parent the student lived with for the majority of the previous twelve months. It will now come from the parent who provided the most financial support in the previous twelve months.


Financial AId FAQ

Yes! In 2022-2023, 100% of students at Agnes Scott received some form of aid. 88% of first-time, first-year students qualified for need-based aid.
Typically, our financial aid packages are made up of aid from a variety of sources, and it is important to understand the differences. Merit-based aid is generally awarded in the form of scholarships, and they are awarded based on factors including academic achievement, community service, leadership and extracurricular involvement. Scholarships are funding that do not have to be repaid, though there are requirements to keep scholarships (included in scholarship letter upon reception). Need-based aid may be grants, loans or student work study and is based on your family’s financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
Federal aid is generally awarded based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). U.S. citizens should submit the FAFSA to determine full financial aid eligibility. The Agnes Scott College FAFSA school code is 001542.
Starting with Fall 2024 admissions, your need-based financial aid award is based on your SAI (Student Aid Index) and your Cost of Attendance. Your SAI is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education based on your completed FAFSA. Whether or not you are eligible for a merit-based scholarship, you may qualify for need-based financial aid.

The FAFSA must be submitted every year after October 1 (or when available), preferably no later than February 1 for incoming students and May 1 for returning students. Students receiving need-based aid must maintain Agnes Scott College's Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is based on:
  • Parent and student income
  • Parent and student current assets
  • Federal taxes paid
  • Number of people dependent on the family's income
  • Ages(s) of parents(s)

Cost of Attendance Includes:
  • Tuition and mandatory fees
  • Room & Board or commuter living expenses
  • Books
  • Transportation
  • Personal expenses
  • Loan fees, if applicable
Two federal programs provide outright grant funds based on family SAI, which do not need to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants provide a maximum award of $7,395 for the 2023-2024 award year. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) range from $100 to $4,000 annually. Agnes Scott receives a very small amount of SEOG funding.
Agnes Scott prepares a financial aid offer that combines various sources of aid, including but not limited to federal, state, and/or institutional grants and scholarships; federal student loans; and federal work study.
It’s possible! The total financial aid offer cannot exceed the total Cost of Attendance per federal guidelines. However, when at all possible, we try to ensure that your offer remains the same or similar. As soon as you learn of aid from other sources, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid. This includes tuition remission, private outside scholarships, or additional aid sources.
If there are extenuating circumstances the FAFSA doesn’t take into account, such as medical expenses, unemployment or a change in financial situation between years, reach out to your admission counselor or the Office of Financial Aid to walk through our appeal process.
For incoming first-year students, we typically begin to send out financial aid offers in early February. For the 2024-2025 award year, however, offers will begin in March due to the later FAFSA open. For returning students, we will begin to send out offers in June.
If you are an incoming first-year student, you will see your offer in both your admission portal and sent via USPS. If you are a current student, you can view your offer in your financial aid portal, accessible through ASCAgnes.
If you are approved as a commuter by the Office of Residence Life, your financial aid offer will likely change because of your adjusted cost of attendance.
In order to receive your federal or state aid, you must maintain Agnes Scott College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress. Individual scholarships have their own requirements for eligibility maintenance.
Eligible transfer and nontraditional students will be considered for need-based aid and merit-based scholarships. For almost all of our transfer merit-based scholarships, no separate application is required, but you do need to complete the FAFSA to be considered for federal financial aid.
Verification is a review process directed by the Department of Education to determine the accuracy of information on the FAFSA. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will receive an email with all required documents. You must complete the verification process before federal financial aid will disburse to your account.

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