Mapping Your Future: 2024-25 FAFSA to present new "consent" process to determine financial aid eligibility


2024-25 FAFSA to present new "consent" process to determine financial aid eligibility

By Catherine Mueller

May 16, 2023

It will be a necessary step in applying for federal financial aid.

Beginning with the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students and anyone contributing income information to that student's FAFSA (such as parents or spouses), will first need to provide consent before financial aid eligibility can be determined.

In a May 12 Electronic Announcement, the Department of Education said the consent, which cannot be revoked and will apply only to that year’s FAFSA, will allow the Internal Revenue Service to send federal income tax information (FTI) to the Department.

“The process to provide approval and consent for purposes of FTI must be completed annually by FAFSA contributors when completing the FAFSA form,” the Department said in the announcement. “Once an applicant provides their consent and approval, the question asking for consent will not be presented in future instances (such as when an applicant corrects the FAFSA to add a school).”

For each successive FAFSA cycle in which a student applies for federal student aid, the FAFSA contributors (including parents or spouse as necessary) will be required to provide approval and consent for the respective FAFSA cycle.

In providing their approval and consent, the student, parents, and/or spouse must agree to:

  • the Department's use and disclosure of their information (e.g., name and Social Security number) to match with the IRS
  • the disclosure of their federal tax information (FTI) by the IRS to the Department
  • the use of their FTI by a Department official to determine an applicant’s eligibility for federal student aid and the amount for which they are eligible; and
  • the redisclosure of FTI by the Department to an eligible institution, state higher education agency, or a designated scholarship organization for institutional or state financial aid.

According to the announcement, only the Department has the authority to obtain approval and consent for the use and disclosure of FTI for such purposes.