A-Z Index

2024-25 FAFSA Application

For the 2024-25 aid year, the FAFSA is changing to become more streamlined and easier to complete. Here's what you need to know to navigate the process.

Important Dates for the 2024-25 academic year


What is the FAFSA Simplification Act and what is changing?

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. Major changes required by the law include the following:

  • The term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is changing to Student Aid Index (SAI). This is the result of a new need analysis formula that we will use when awarding need-based grants and scholarships.
  • A streamlined FAFSA form. You’ll be asked fewer questions when completing the 2024-25 FAFSA and it will be easier to transfer tax information directly from the IRS.
  • Other new terminology is being introduced. You’ll notice a few new terms like:
    • Contributor - anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA, a parent or student spouse for example
    • Consent - each contributor will need to consent to their information being included on the FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for grants, loans and work-study programs.

Why should I do this?

Filling out the FAFSA helps you receive money for college based on your family's income, it also helps Northwest determine your aid offer.

How much aid will be available to me?

Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your costs and aid eligibility. Estimated time to complete: 10-15 minutes

How long will it take to fill out the FAFSA?

Approximately one hour. 

When can I expect to hear back after filling out my FAFSA?

  • For Fall 2024 Incoming Freshman
    • If additional documents are needed from you, expect to hear from us with that request in late February or early March. If no additional items are needed from you, expect to receive your aid offer in late March or early April. 
  • For Transfer or Continuing Students
    • If additional documents are needed from you, expect to hear from us with that request in late February or early March. If no additional items are needed from you, expect to receive your aid offer in late May or early June. 

Your next steps

The next step towards financing your education is completing the FAFSA. Our team is here to support you throughout the process, unlocking the potential for federal aid.


Learn about using the FAFSA to apply for financial aid

  • Watch this 2-minute video to learn how the FAFSA works:

What you can do now to prepare for the FAFSA

You must complete this step at least three days before attempting to complete the FAFSA. You'll need to complete this step to get started.

  • Your FSA ID is a username and password that gives you access to your student aid account
  • Go to and follow the instructions to create your account
  • If you’ve filled out the FAFSA before, you already have an FSA ID. Check your account and reset your password if you don’t remember it.
  • Watch this video and learn about the FSA ID:

Determine who your “Contributors” are on the FAFSA.

  • Determine who your FAFSA contributors are.
  • A contributor is anyone who’s asked to provide information on the FAFSA. A contributor could be you, a parent (biological, adoptive, or stepparent), or your spouse. Being a contributor doesn’t mean they have an obligation to pay for your education.
  • Each contributor will provide consent for their information to be included on the FAFSA.
  • Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about contributors:

Collect information you’ll need to complete the FAFSA:

  • Having this info ready to go ahead of time will help you avoid delays.
  • For each of your contributors you will need:
    • Name
    • Social Security Number (SSN) or alien registration number
    • Date of birth
    • Email address
    • Tax returns
    • Records of child support received
    • Current balances of savings and checking accounts
    • Net worth of investments, businesses, or farms
  • Each contributor must provide consent on the FAFSA to allow their tax info to be automatically shared from the IRS. If a contributor refuses to provide consent, you will be ineligible for need-based financial aid programs.

Fill out the FAFSA

Student and contributors can use their FSA ID to access and complete the FAFSA.

Take the next steps to being a Bearcat!

Take the next steps to being a Bearcat!

The FAFSA is open. If you haven't already, now is a great time to apply for admission at Northwest.

Apply Now


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660.562.1363 (phone) | 660.562.1674 (fax)

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