FAFSA Updates

Update on FAFSAs and Financial Aid Offers

April 8, 2024

NIU’s financial aid office has started to receive ISIRs (Institutional Student Information Records) from the Department of Education for students who indicated NIU on their FAFSA form. We are testing and finalizing updates to our system to correctly import the ISIR data and to begin packaging student financial aid offers.

Barring any additional setbacks from the Department of Education and pending delivery of critical updates from our software vendor (Oracle), we anticipate the following timeline for financial aid packaging and estimates: 

Beginning the week of April 8, 2024

  • Admitted students will be notified via email to their NIU email address when their ISIR data has been received and imported into our system.
  • Students will be asked to confirm via their MyNIU To-Do List their current housing plans for the 2024-2025 academic year. We need this information to provide an accurate cost of attendance and create their financial aid offer.

Beginning the week of April 22, 2024

  • We will begin to notify students who need to submit additional information before we can process their financial aid application. Students will receive an email at their NIU email address and any additional documents and/or information needed to process their application will be posted to their To-Do List in MyNIU.
  • Once a student’s application is complete, we will provide a financial aid offer in 5 to 7 business days, after aid offers begin to go out.

Beginning May 1, 2024

  • For students with completed applications and no outstanding requirements, we will begin to notify them at their NIU email address when their financial aid offer is available to view in MyNIU. Students will be able to review and accept their offers in MyNIU.
  • Not all financial aid offers will be sent at the same time. They will be sent in batches based on when your FAFSA was filed and when it was received by NIU.  
  • We will be hosting virtual presentations for students and their families to help understand their financial aid offers.

Students affected by FAFSA data issues

  • We are awaiting guidance from the Department of Education (DoE) on how to process ISIRs delivered to NIU with issues.
  • If your FAFSA was affected by one or more of the data issues, please be assured that we are closely following updates from the DoE and are working to get you an accurate aid offer as quickly as possible. 

2024-2025 FAFSA

The 2024-2025 FAFSA is now open and can be accessed 24/7. 

The best things you can do to get your aid information as quickly as possible are:


What’s Changed?

  • The FAFSA is shorter and more user-friendly.
  • New students may list up to 20 schools.
  • The FAFSA is available in more languages.
  • Applicants are required to consent to IRS Direct Data Exchange.
    • Any person contributing to or completing the FAFSA must now consent to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange, which will transfer data directly into the FAFSA. Consent is a requirement, and if any required contributor does not consent, the student will be ineligible for federal aid.
  • Parents and/or spouses are now called “Contributors.”
    • A contributor is anyone who's required to provide information, consent and approval, and a signature on the FAFSA form. This includes you, and may include your spouse, your biological or adoptive parent, or your parent’s spouse. Each contributor will be required to have an FSA ID to provide their information.
  • The Student Aid Index (SAI) has replaced the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
    • The Student Aid Index (SAI) is a number calculated upon completion of the FAFSA. This term replaces the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). An SAI, like an EFC, is used in determining eligibility for federal and state aid. It is anticipated that additional students may qualify for Pell grants due to this change.
  • The Number in College will not be used to calculate SAI.
  • Some students will see an increase to or new eligibility for Pell Grant; a few will see a decrease or loss of Pell.
  • The parent on the FAFSA has changed in cases of divorce or separation.
  • Family farms and small businesses must be reported as assets.

What has NOT changed?

  • The general types of aid and aid limits remain the same.
  • The FAFSA still needs to be completed each year to be awarded and receive aid.
  • The FAFSA still uses income and tax information from the “prior-prior year,” meaning you will report 2022 information on the 24-25 FAFSA.

Got Questions? Get Answers.

What if my parent isn't a US Citizen, doesn't have a Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN)?
  • A parent's citizenship status does not affect a student's eligibility for federal aid.
  • The parent is still required to submit their earning information/ consent to the IRS Direct Transfer on the FAFSA and will need an FSA ID to complete the form and sign.
  • If a contributor doesn't have an SSN, the student or parent will indicate that the contributor doesn't have an SSN during the invitation process. The student or parent will instead provide the contributor's mailing address.
When can I expect my Financial Aid Offer Letter?
Barring any additional setbacks from the Department of Education and pending delivery of critical updates from our software vendor (Oracle), we anticipate starting to notify students that their financial aid offer is ready beginning May 1. 

NIU School Code

Use NIU's School Code when completing the FAFSA.


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