SAI (Student Aid Index) to replace EFC for 2023-2024

Our financial planner informed us of the change in FAFSA’s calculation to receive aid. We were only able to find bits and pieces from different sources online. Anyone have an insight or an example of how this will affect the way colleges provide financial assistance? We know it eliminates the “multiple kids” in college which can be a very big deal. Will more asset/income protection calculate to offset? Thanks everyone.

Here is detailed information: NASFAA | NASFAA Deep-Dive: Changes to Federal Methodology, Other Student Aid Changes From Spending Bill. This article from a well respected financial aid guru: How FAFSA Simplification Will Change Financial Aid Eligibility.


Thank you. This is great.

This is a disaster in the making for middle income families. Basically, we are now limited to state schools as full pay or take out loans. No concessions for having two kids in college simultaneously.

The blog below from Mass Mutual is easy to read and follow.

I am surprised that there is not much of an uproar about this but this is a big deal for us.

I understand, but part of the reason this benefit was eliminated was because people whose kids were farther apart complained that the formula was unfair because it penalized them (a benefit they couldn’t qualify for) simply for having kids more than 3 years apart.

I would not expect most CSS Profile schools to change their formulas, many of which take into account multiple siblings in college at the same time when calculating what a family is expected to contribute. In fact, some Profile schools have already stated they won’t change their financial aid formula.

How is this a disaster in the making? ( says a mom who has sent two kids to state schools as full pay)

What if your kid is not best suited to go to a large public university and his major is not offered at smaller state schools?

These hypotheticals aren’t helpful.

FAFSA is primarily used to qualify for federal financial aid (Pell grants, federal work study, direct student loans, etc.). For some families, they might not qualify for as much Pell money as they previously would have. All students who file FAFSA will still qualify for the Federal Direct Student Loans (max of $27K total for most students over the 4 undergrad years)

Most FAFSA only schools (which is most state publics) don’t meet full need anyway, so there’s no guarantee that they would be affordable regardless how they calculate one’s expected financial contribution. Meaning…they often won’t get close to your student’s FAFSA EFC (future SAI).

Your kids will still be able to qualify for merit scholarships, which often have nothing to do with need.

And again, they will have the option to attend a CSS Profile school, where the formulas are not likely to change (meaning if the school currently gives a benefit for multiples in college, they will continue doing so).

Does that make sense?

I can see this hurting those small NAIA or Div3 college kids potentially; small private schools that don’t use the CSS but rather the FAFSA. However, when one of our kids went to one of those for a 1.5 yrs; there was very little grant money given by that school even with 2 in college.

when that kid transferred to the state school, she qualified for a subsidized loan. In fact, that was the only benefit we ever saw with having now had 4 years of overlapping college kids. 1 kid got a few subsidized loan. To take that away would be annoying, but it wouldnt be a disaster for us I guess.

as far as pells go, if a family qualifies for a pell grant, both kids will qualify; the amounts may be slightly different by a few thousand now, but you have to have a really low EFC in the first place to qualify. If i were in that situation, i’d be talking to the colleges.

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Last I’d heard nearly all the changes except for a couple simple ones (like not requiring selective service registration) had been pushed out to the 2024-2025 school year FAFSA.