April 24, 2024 Update:
Shasta College has received and processed all 24-25 FAFSA applications to date and will continue to do so moving forward! Students will receive an email notification when the FAFSA is received and processed. Students who need to turn in documents will also be notified via email to their Shasta College email account.

Students and contributors are now able to make corrections to the 24-25 FAFSA. 

The Department of Education has notified schools that there are some FAFSAs that have been affected by processing errors, and they will be re-processing those with an anticipated deadline in the beginning of May. Once Shasta College receives those reprocessed ISIRs, those affected students will have their financial aid re-packaged and may see changes to their Student Aid Index (SAI) that could raise or lower their financial aid eligibility. From early assessments, it appears that a very small number of all FAFSAs received by Shasta College have been affected.

March 28, 2024- Better FAFSA, Better CADAA Bulletin:
From our Executive Director, Marlene Garcia:

We have great news to announce that the state priority deadline for Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship has been extended from April 2, 2024 to May 2, 2024. Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1887 on March 25, 2024 to codify this extension. As a result, students who submit a 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a 2024-25 California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by May 2, 2024, will be considered on time for Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship consideration.

April 9, 2024- Special Alert from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC): New CADAA Option for Mixed Status Families 
“In response to an unprecedented financial aid cycle that has particularly impacted students from “mixed-status families” (U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens whose FAFSA contributor(s) do not have a social security number), the Commission is enabling the 2024-25 CADAA as an option for first-time applicants who cannot complete the FAFSA due to having a “non-SSN contributor”.

This new CADAA option for first-time applicants who continue to experience challenges in successfully completing the FAFSA, will help in the following ways:

  • Provides an alternative to students from mixed status families to meet the fast-approaching May 2, 2024 state priority deadline for Cal Grant and Middle-Class Scholarship award consideration. The Commission will honor the CADAA submission date even if the FAFSA is completed later.
  • Successful completion of the CADAA will generate a Student Aid Index (SAI) that colleges can use for preliminary financial aid eligibility determination. This information could help students and their families in making college enrollment decisions.

It is important to note that FAFSA-eligible students and their non-SSN contributors who opt for this CADAA option, should continue to pursue the StudentAid.gov account creation and identity verification process to successfully complete the 2024-25 FAFSA so they can maximize their financial aid opportunities. The CADAA does not provide access to federal student aid.

  • Contributors (the student, parent, student’s spouse, or parent’s spouse), including those without a Social Security number (SSN), will be able to create a StudentAid.gov account to access and complete the online FAFSA form. Contributors who already have a verified account username and password will use their existing credentials to sign in and access the form. If you have contributors who don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN), please go to the Studentaid.gov website to learn more about contributors without a Social Security Number.
  • FSA will initiate planned pauses for site maintenance and to make updates as needed to create a better FAFSA experience for students and families. During these pauses, users who are already online will be able to complete their work, but other users may not be able to begin or resume work on the 2024-25 FAFSA form. Users who go on-line during a temporary pause should check back at a later time to complete the form.
  • Applicants may experience a waiting room feature, which will help control website volumes to ensure optimal performance of the form.
  • If a student completes their form during the soft launch period, their information will be stored for processing. They do NOT need to return to resubmit their application after the soft launch concludes.
  • If a student completes their FAFSA form, but a contributor cannot access the site during a period when the site is unavailable, the contributor can return to complete their portion of the form as soon as the site becomes available again. Any data entered in the form is still in the system and is secure.
  • If FSA initiates site maintenance while a student or contributor is completing an application, they will be able to continue until they have completed the form.
  • After all sections of the online FAFSA form are completed and submitted, the student will receive a confirmation email noting their submission date, their estimated Student Aid Index (SAI), and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility. However, the student will not receive a FAFSA Submission Summary until FSA processes the FAFSA, beginning in late January.

The FAFSA Simplification Act 

The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2021 with the goal of streamlining the process through which students apply for financial aid. These changes are being implemented for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that students will use to apply for financial aid for the 2024-25 academic year beginning in December 2023. The FAFSA Simplification Act also significantly amended the formula that informs how students qualify for the federal Pell Grant. Below are resources to help you understand these changes.

The priority deadline for Cal Grant has been extended to May 2, 2024 for FAFSA and CADAA filers. 

Click here to watch the Financial Aid Bootcamp: How to Prepare for the 2024-25 FAFSA Form by FSA Outreach (YouTube)

Please Note: 2024-25 FAFSA changes are being implemented by the U.S. Department of Education. Information on this webpage is subject to change as new information becomes available. 

Plan Ahead, Gather Your Information Now! 

Key Changes for the 2024-25 FAFSA 

  • There will be a significant reduction in the number of questions in the form from 108 questions to 46 questions. The answers to some questions could cause additional questions to be asked or could prevent further questions. 
  • It will allow students to add up to 20 colleges. 
  • Information on your FAFSA will be put in by “Contributors.” A contributor is any individual required to provide a signature and consent on the FAFSA form. You, the student, are the primary contributor. Other possible contributors could be the student's spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, and/or the parent's spouse (step-parent). 
  • The new FAFSA is student driven, so that means the student's answers on their section will determine who will be a contributor (in addition to the student). Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA. Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA. 
  • The FAFSA will be a strictly role-based form. When students log in, they can only access student questions. When a parent or spouse logs in, they will only have access to questions about their role. Only when the final contributor finishes their section will the form be able to be submitted. 


  • There will be two-step verification, and all FAFSA contributors must have an FSA ID to log into the online form. There will be a new process to get an FSA ID for parents and spouses without a Social Security number. 


  • Consent for the transfer of their Federal Tax Information (FTI) is required from all contributors. Regardless of whether they file a US tax return, all students, parents, and spouses must check a box that grants the IRS permission to transfer any data they have directly into the FAFSA form.  
  • Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked in that award year. This consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country. 
  • Contributors must allow the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to share their tax information with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV aid. 
  • If any contributor to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed; however, a Student Aid Index (SAI) cannot be calculated and the student will not be determined eligible for aid. 

The IRS DRT will be replaced with the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). 

  • EVERYONE (students, spouses (if applicable), parents and stepparents) will need to consent to have their Federal Tax Information (FTI) imported into the FTI module. 
  • To provide consent, the individual will need to access the FAFSA with an FSA ID that has been matched with the Social Security Administration (SSA). 
  • Federal tax filers will have their tax information imported into the FTI module. No tax income will transfer into the FAFSA, but tax data will be sent to the colleges listed on the FAFSA. 
  • Non-tax filers must also check the box to consent. When IRS Data is accessed, the process will verify non-filing status. 


Effective the 2024-25 award year, parent of record on the FAFSA is noted below. You will notice that the parent with whom the student lived the most in the past 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA is no longer a criterion in cases of divorced or separated parents. For divorced or separated parents, income and assets are reported for the parent who provides the most financial support even if the student does not live with that parent or lives with the other parent. 

  • Parents who live together 
    Parental income and assets in the case of student whose parents are married and not separated, or who are unmarried but live together, shall include the income and assets of both parents. 
  • Divorced or separated parents 
    Parental income and assets for a student whose parents are divorced or separated, but not remarried, is determined by including only the income and assets of the parent who provides the greater portion of the student's financial support. 
  • Death of a parent 
    Parental income and assets in the case of the death of any parent is determined as follows: 
    (A) If either of the parents has died, the surviving parent shall be considered a single parent, until that parent has remarried. 
    (B) If both parents have died, the student shall not report any parental income or assets. 
  • Remarried parents 
    If a parent whose income and assets are taken into account under paragraph (2), or if a parent who is a widow or widower and whose income is taken into account under paragraph (3), has remarried, the income of that parent's spouse shall be included in determining the parent's assessment of adjusted available income if the student's parent and the stepparent are married as of the date of application for the award year concerned. 
  • Single parent who is not divorced or separated 
    Parental income and assets in the case of a student whose parent is not described in paragraph (1) and is a single parent who is not divorced, separated, or remarried, shall include the income and assets of such single parent.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA form. Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college and experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid. 

In addition to the SAI, the FAFSA Simplification Act will expand the Federal Pell Grant to more students and link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level. New eligibility formulas and funding are estimated to increase Pell Grant recipients by nearly 15%.  

Accessibility to the FAFSA has been expanded to the top 11 languages spoken by English learners in the U.S.- Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, Arabic, Korean, Russian, German, Haitian, and Hindi. 

No benefit for having siblings in college: Previously, the FAFSA divided the EFC proportionally based on the number of household members in college. The elimination of this "sibling discount" will be the biggest change in aid eligibility for some students. The SAI will not use the number in college as a factor in calculation of eligibility. The determination to no longer consider number in college was made by Congress and can only be changed by Congress.

Inclusion of family farms or small businesses: Families will now report the value of their farms or businesses even if they have fewer than 100 employees. While this inclusion continues to be debated in Congress, it is currently required to be reported on the 2024-25 FAFSA and can influence the SAI. 

Students with unusual circumstances are defined as: 

A student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of unusual circumstances which prevent the student from contacting parents. These circumstances could include— 

  • human trafficking, as described in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.) 
  • legally granted refugee or asylum status and are separate from their parents, or their parents are displaced in a foreign country 
  • parental abandonment or estrangement and have not been adopted 
  • abusive or threatening environment or 
  • student or parental incarceration and contact with parents would pose a risk to the student. 

Starting with the 2024-25 Award Year, both first-time and renewal applicants who indicate on their FAFSA form that they have an unusual circumstance will be granted provisional independent status. They will be able to complete the form without providing parental information. They will also receive an estimate of their federal student aid eligibility, which will be subject to a final determination by the institution they attend. If a student's institution approves their unusual circumstances, their independent status will carry over when they renew their FAFSA form in future award years, and they will be considered independent for as long as they remain at the same institution and their circumstances remain unchanged. 

  • Questions regarding the Number of Household Members in College, the student’s Housing Plans and Interest in Federal Work Study have been removed from the FAFSA. 
  • Family size will be based on the number of tax exemptions claimed on the tax form(s) transferred into the FAFSA. If the family size has changed since filing the 2022 tax forms, a family size question will allow for reporting the updated family size. 
  • Child support received has been moved to the asset section of the form and, therefore, will only need to be reported for families required to report assets. Child support paid out of the household is no longer a question on the form. 
  • The demographic survey questions regarding race, gender, and ethnicity have been moved to the student demographic section of the form. Students will still have the option to decline to answer the questions. Answers to these questions will not be used to determine aid eligibility, and these responses will not be sent to the state agency or any colleges listed on the form. Parents will not be able to view the answers to these questions, and they will not be included in the FAFSA Submission Summary. 

If your contributor does not have a Social Security number (SSN) and is unable to start or access the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, you can go to Studentaid.gov and follow the steps to submit your form to ensure that you meet the April 2, 2024 Cal Grant deadline.

The FAFSA Simplification Act specifies which questions can be asked on the FAFSA and prohibits the U.S. Department of Education (ED) from asking FAFSA questions that are unnecessary for Title IV federal student aid. 

Additional information can be found at StudentAid.gov

Proposed 2024-2025 California Dream Act Application (CADAA) Updates: Better CADAA

For 2024-2025, the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is working on making updates to the CADAA per recommendations from the Renewing the Dream Report that was released earlier this year. 

Notable changes in the CADAA include:   

  • Application timeline: 
    CADAA will likely be released on the same date as the FAFSA - late December 2023.   
    CADAA's priority deadline is April 2, 2024.   
  • Change from Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to Student Aid Index (SAI): 
    The 2024 -2025 CADAA will include some of the changes from the new FAFSA such as the  incorporation of the Student Aid Index (SAI) in place of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).   
  • Inclusion of Race/Ethnicity/Gender questions: 
    The questions will be optional and will not impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. The information obtained will be used for CSAC research purposes only.   
  • AB 540 Affidavit inclusion: 
    Following the progress of Assembly Bill 1540, CSAC will include the questions for the  determination of nonresident tuition exemption (commonly referred as AB 540 affidavit) within  the CADAA and provide a way to allow institutions to collect a student’s answers to the AB 540  affidavit. Note: Colleges and universities will continue to make the final determination of AB540  eligibility.   
  • Parent Signature Process changes:  
    CSAC is working to allow the parental signature to be done within the original CADAA  submission, which may eliminate the separate PIN creation process.   

Please visit our UndocuAlly Central page for additional information and resources!  

Questions? We are here to help! Please reach out to us! 

Phone: (530) 242-7650 

Email: financialaid@shastacollege.edu