FAFSA and financial aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is an application for federal student aid. You need to complete the FAFSA form to apply for federal student aid such as federal grants, work-study funds, and loans. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to federal student aid — the largest source of aid — to help you pay for college.

In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid. Some private scholarship donors may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their scholarships.

Preparing for 2024-25 FAFSA Year

Although the FAFSA is available now, expect delays in receiving your award letter for 2024-25.

  • The Department of Education has announced they will not be ready to transmit FAFSA data to schools until the first part of March.
  • Schools will need time to test software systems prior to sending out award letters.
  • Your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) can be provided to us for an early estimate. Estimates are subject to change as new information becomes available to us.
  • The FAFSA deadline for Missouri Grant has been moved to April 1, 2024. If the FSS displays a Student Aid Index (SAI) number 12,000 or less, the student will quality for Missouri Grant if all other eligibility requirements are met.
  • Set up your account by creating your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, each of your contributors will need their own account and FSA ID, it is very important to have the accounts set up prior to beginning.

To create your FSA Account, use this link:

To complete the 2024-25 FAFSA:

New Terminology for 2024-25:

  • Student Aid Index (SAI): Calculated by FAFSA and will be used by schools to determine how much federal aid the student is eligible for.
  • Contributor: The term used for any individual supplying information on the FAFSA: the student, parent, step-parent, spouse are all examples of contributors.
  • Consent: Required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax information directly to FAFSA. If any contributor is unwilling to consent, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid.
  • Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Previously called the Data Retrieval Tool, the DDX allows for the exchange of all contributors.
  • FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): Previously called the Student Aid Report (SAR).

What is Changing with the 2024-25 FAFSA

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won’t even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.

In prior FAFSA filing years, the IRS tax information could be manually input or students and parents could opt to transfer their information, using the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Beginning in 2024-25, the FAFSA application requires students and parents to authorize the Direct Data Exchange (DDX) between FAFSA and the IRS to transfer the tax information or confirmation of non-filing status to the FAFSA. The DDX will make it easier for students, parents and/or spouses to transfer data, whereas they may not have been able to use the DRT. If the student or a contributor fails to authorize the DDX, the student will not be eligible for Title IV.

A Contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student’s or parent’s answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they’ve been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID to provide the required information on the student’s FAFSA. New Contributors will need to create an FSA ID.

Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student’s education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate students with siblings or spouse in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.

  1. Maximum Pell Grant awards to students who qualify based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI) and poverty guidelines.
  2. Students who do not qualify for Maximum Pell Grant may still qualify if their calculated SAI number is less than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year.
  3. Minimum Pell Grant – some students may still qualify for a Pell Grant award with a SAI greater than the maximum Pell Grant award based on family size, AGI and the poverty guidelines.

If the student did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided the student with the most financial support during the past twelve months should be the contributor on the FAFSA. This is probably the parent who claimed the student as their dependent on the tax return.

The dependency questions have not changed on the FAFSA. If the student cannot answer yes to one of the dependency questions on the FAFSA, parent information is required. New for 2024-25, if a student believes they have a special condition or unusual circumstance regarding their family dynamics and wants to file a Dependency Override Appeal, the student will be able to submit their FAFSA without a parent contributor. The school will reach out to the student and provide instructions on the appeal process. In the event the appeal cannot be approved, the student will be notified that parent information is required.

Prior to 2024-25, family farms and businesses with under 100 employees were exempt from reporting their farm or business assets on the FAFSA. Beginning in 2024-25, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.

FAFSA for the 2023-24 academic year

  • Complete the 2023-24 FAFSA if your attendance is between July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.
  • Complete the FAFSA for 2023-24 by clicking below, and be sure to enter our school code below.

Park’s FAFSA code:  002498

Apply for Financial Aid

Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need as determined by the FAFSA application and have not yet earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial needs and who have not yet earned a bachelors degree, graduate or professional degree. Federal pell grant recipients receive priority.  FSEOG funds are limited and not all eligible students will receive funding.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH)

  • For graduate students who are enrolled in programs designed to prepare them to teach in an in-demand field at the elementary/secondary school level, you must agree to serve for a minimum of four years (within eight years of completing or ceasing enrollment in the program for which the student received the grant funds) as a full-time teacher in a school or educational service agency that serves low-income students.
  • Students must attend a participating school and meet certain academic requirements.
  • Failure to complete the teaching service commitment will result in the grant being converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid.

Student LOANS

Apply for student loans:

  1. Complete Your MPN (Master Promissory Note) at Direct Loans
  2. Complete an Entrance Interview
  3. Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment | Federal Student Aid
  4. Exit Counseling
  5. Student Loan Repayment Options
  6. Avoiding Default


Students, who receive more in financial aid than the charges on their student account, may receive a refund. In cases of a refund, students should complete a Direct Deposit form. Further instructions may be provided if a student is awarded a scholarship that is in conflict with a refund. (i.e.: Kansas City Scholars)


Any financial aid award is subject to review based on assistance received from outside sources. All sources of aid, with the exception of VA benefits, are regarded as estimated financial assistance and must be included in the financial aid award.



Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.