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An updated Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form debuted on New Year’s Eve.

The 2024-25 FAFSA format is new for everyone. To prevent confusion, Carthage College compiled this Q&A to help students complete the FAFSA.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state grants, loans, work-study, and some scholarships and grants through Carthage. College-age students complete the application annually for free. Link to FAFSA form

When should students complete the FAFSA?

A new 2024-25 FAFSA form launched on Dec. 31, 2023. The process is delayed compared to years in the past! Plan to file the FAFSA by April 1, 2024. Carthage’s code is 003839. Learn what you need to complete the FAFSA

What updates have been made to the FAFSA?

After undergoing an overhaul due to the FAFSA Simplification Act, the new FAFSA requires the use of the IRS direct data exchange. The direct data exchange accesses the tax return details needed to complete the FAFSA form. Further, students (as applicants) invite their parents (contributors) to complete their portion of the form.

Why should students complete the FAFSA?

More than 90% of Carthage students receive financial aid. Completing the FAFSA is one step toward financing an affordable Carthage education.

What happens after the FAFSA is submitted?

The information gathered on the form determines each student’s financial aid eligibility. The federal government shares information with the colleges the student identifies on the FAFSA. Use school code 003839 so Carthage receives the information! The Carthage Office of Student Financial Services will begin awarding federal, state, and institutional financial aid in late January/early February to those who have submitted their FAFSA and will send financial aid information on a rolling basis to applicants.

What happens if my financial circumstances have changed?

If circumstances arise that impact your family’s financial resources (for example, job loss or a death in the family), notify the Office of Student Financial Services by email or call 262-551-6002.

What financial aid does Carthage offer?

Carthage College awards more than $20 million in financial aid to incoming students each year including many Carthage scholarships

What is the FAFSA Simplification Act?

Passed in 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act specified changes to make the form easier, including:

  • Untaxed income no longer has to be reported
  • Child support is assessed as an asset instead of an income
  • 529 accounts apply to current students only
  • Additional family support (for example, a grandparent’s 529 account) no longer impacts the student aid calculation.
  • It will be easier for students with unusual family circumstances to receive aid

What if students have additional questions?

Carthage staff members are happy to walk students and their families through the FAFSA process. Prospective students can contact the Office of Admissions by email or by calling 262-551-6000, while returning students can reach out to the Office of Student Financial Services (email) at 262-551-6002. Current students and families can attend FAFSA information sessions in January and February.