Financial Aid Workshops

Do you need assistance with your FAFSA/WASFA application? Join us for an open workshop, no reservations needed!

Location: Library- Room 1802

  • February 29th 3:00PM- 5:00PM
  • March 5th 5:00PM- 7:00PM
  • March 7th 3:00PM- 5:00PM
  • March 11th 11:00AM- 1:00PM (Room 1801)
  • March 14th 3:00PM- 5:00PM
  • March 19th 5:00PM- 7:00PM
  • March 21st 3:00PM- 5:00PM
  • March 25th 11:00AM- 1:00PM
  • March 28th 3:00PM- 5:00PM

Contact us at 509.793.2088 or faidinfo@bigbend.edu for more information.

Beginning in the upcoming 2024–2025 aid year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process will be significantly different from previous years.

The U.S. Department of Education has introduced the FAFSA Simplification Act, which aims to streamline the financial aid application process for students and families. While in some cases the FAFSA simplification could increase some students’ financial aid eligibility, others may see a decrease in aid.

Below, we’ve provided some details to help you navigate this updated process.

Changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA and Financial Aid Process

Application Timeline

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming aid year typically becomes available on October 1st. However, for the 2024–2025 academic year only, the FAFSA will not be available until January 2024. 

The Federal Student Aid I.D. (FSA ID) account you will need to create to apply for FAFSA will take three days to process your account before you can start your FAFSA Application. This also applies to any other contributors on your FAFSA as well, such as your parent(s) and/or guardian(s), so be sure to plan accordingly.

Terminology Updates

Contributor
A new term introduced on the 2024–25 FAFSA form, Contributor refers to anyone asked to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form (i.e., the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse).

FAFSA Privacy Act Consent
Formal consent provided by an applicant and any applicable contributor(s) for a given FAFSA cycle (e.g., December 2023 to September 2025 for the 2024–25 FAFSA form) that meets the statutory requirements of collecting and using an individual’s personally-identifiable information.

FAFSA Submission Summary
Replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) as the student’s output document providing a summary of data input on the FAFSA form.

Family Size
Replaces the term “household size” on the FAFSA form.

Federal Tax Information (FTI)
The data and information related to federal tax paying. It includes a return or return information received directly from the IRS or obtained through an authorized secondary source such as the U.S. Department of Education.

Student Aid Index (SAI)
Replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a formal evaluation of a student’s approximate financial resources to contribute toward their postsecondary education for a specific award year.

Application Process Changes

  • Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID. This will speed up the FAFSA processing time, as they’ll be able to submit the form online rather than having to print, sign, and mail it in. *Proposed release date of this option is set for Dec. 31, 2023.*
  • For students whose parents are separated or divorced, the guidance on which parent income to report has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support for the student rather than the parent the student lived with the most.
  • Tax information will be directly imported into the FAFSA.
  • Each Contributor (student, student’s spouse, parent(s), and/or stepparent) will have to provide consent to complete the FAFSA. If any contributors do not provide their consent, the SAI will not be calculated, and eligibility for financial aid cannot be determined.
  • Students will be able to list up to 20 colleges/universities on the FAFSA.
  • SAI will no longer take the number of students in college into consideration. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.
  • The housing question has been removed from the FAFSA, but schools are still required to report housing status to the Department of Education, therefore Big Bend Community College will be reporting all students as living independently off campus unless the student reports that they are living on campus – i.e. in the dorms.
  • Students who are considered independent due to homelessness or qualifying dependency override no longer need to recertify their dependency status each year unless their situation changes.
  • When required, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm.

Enrollment Status Updates

Another change to the FAFSA is the enrollment status, now known as intensity, equivalencies. What this means for students is that they will get a specific percentage of their financial aid based on how many credits they are taking that quarter. See the graphic below for the changes.
 
Next Steps

Stay Informed

Create your FSA ID

Submit your FAFSA

Financial Aid Contact Info
Financial Aid Staff
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Fry, Cassandra

Financial Aid Director
cassandraf@bigbend.edu
(509) 793-2031
Director or Financial Aid, Rita Ramirez

Ramirez, Rita

Financial Aid Office
ritar@bigbend.edu
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Sanchez, Marbely

Financial Aid Advisor
marbelys@bigbend.edu
(509) 793-2032
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Pruneda, Veronica

Financial Aid
veronicap@bigbend.edu
(509) 793-2452
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McAdoo, Katie

Financial Aid Program Assistant
katiem@bigbend.edu
(509) 793-2453
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