FAFSA Update and Award Information

The financial aid process and award information below provides step-by-step guidance to students who plan to enroll in the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year. Please review the following application requirements for determining aid eligibility.  


  Type of Assistance Required Applications Priority Filing Date  Filing Deadline for Fall 2024/Spring 2025 terms 
 Federal/State Aid (All students) FAFSA Only  March 1, 2024

 April 7, 2024 (First Year Students)

May 15, 2024 (New Transfer Students)

 SMU Need-Based Aid (Undergraduate students only) FAFSA & CSS Profile  March 1, 2024

 April 7, 2024 (First-Year Students)

May 15, 2024 (New Transfer Students)

SMU Undergraduate Merit- Based Scholarships Automatically considered through the Admission process.   N/A  N/A
SMU Graduate Departmental Assistance Varies. Contact your Academic Department for your specific program of study  N/A N/A

Please make sure to submit both the 2024-2025 FAFSA and CSS Profile applications. Priority Filing and Filing Deadlines are suggested dates to receive a financial aid offer prior to deposit deadlines. 

Information entered on the CSS Profile should match the information provided on the FAFSA. Your file may be flagged for conflicting information if the information between the two applications does not match. It's anticipated students and parents can make corrections to FAFSA data beginning mid-March by going back to the Federal Student Aid website. Minor corrections to the CSS Profile can be made on the behalf of the student by an SMU financial aid advisor, extensive corrections may require submitting a brand new CSS Profile application.

Undergraduate Students (Incoming First-Year)  

A monthly timeline up to the May 1st deposit deadline. This information will be updated regularly to reflect any changes.


  • Students and parents are strongly encouraged to complete and submit both the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications to maximize aid offer eligibility. 
  • Use the FAFSA helpful hints below and video tutorials in the side menu as a resource to complete your 2024-2025 FAFSA application.


  • Estimated financial aid offers will be sent to admitted first-year students who have submitted a 24-25 CSS Profile. A final financial aid offer will be sent once FAFSA data has been released and SMU has processed your application.  For more information please click FAQ's.


  • Once the FAFSA data is received, we will begin loading the data into our test systems to check for any processing bugs, calculation corrections, and any other issues that may cause a delay. At this time, we anticipate the test period will conclude in late March.
  • As testing is completed you will begin to receive notices through your SMU email account if additional documentation is needed to clear your file for a final aid offer. It's important that you check your SMU e-mail regularly for notifications or requests for documentation. Please submit any outstanding documents as soon as possible to avoid processing delays.
  • FAFSA corrections and updates should be allowed for submission in mid to late March.


  • Final financial aid offers are now in process. Students wanting financial aid consideration will need to ensure both FAFSA and CSS Profile applications are submitted, corrected for any errors identified on either application, and all requested documentation are received.

Undergraduate Students (New Transfers) Fall 2024 or Spring 2025

  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete and submit both the 2024-2025 FAFSA and CSS Profile applications to maximize aid offer eligibility.
  • Use the FAFSA helpful hints below and video tutorials in the side menu as a resource to complete your 2024-2025 FAFSA application..
  • Only students who have been admitted to the university will receive a financial aid offer.
  • Make sure to check your SMU e-mail for any request of additional documents to complete the aid offer.
  • Financial aid offers will begin to be available in late April. Your aid offer will be mailed and also available through your my.SMU portal.

Estimated Aid Offer FAQ

Due to the delayed release of FAFSA data to schools, estimated financial aid notifications will be sent to students who submitted the CSS Profile application. The FAFSA and CSS Profile are both used to create a comprehensive federal, state and institutional financial aid package for students. Additionally, both applications ask the same financial information, which allows us to evaluate CSS Profile data to provide a comprehensive estimated aid notification. A final aid offer will be sent after FAFSA data is received by SMU and processed.
Make sure your 24-25 CSS Profile has been completed and submitted to SMU. Only admitted students who have submitted the CSS Profile will be eligible to receive an estimated financial aid notification. A final aid offer will be sent after FAFSA data is made available to SMU and processed.
FAFSA data is expected to start being released to schools in mid-March. The Department of Education will release the FAFSA data in batches, so SMU will not receive all student FAFSA data immediately. We will, however, begin processing FAFSA data in combination with the CSS Profile immediately after we receive it. We expect to start having final financial aid offers available to admitted students in early April. Remember, the 24-25 FAFSA is required to receive a final financial aid offer.
CSS Profile application data is received daily. You may contact the SMU Mane Desk at manedesk@smu.edu or 214-768-5555 to confirm receipt.
Corrections to the CSS Profile can usually be made by e-mailing Financial Aid Services at ugfinaid@smu.edu with your full name, SMU ID number and stating the information that needs to be corrected. For any extensive corrections/updates, you may need to submit a brand-new application by going back to the CSS Profile on the College Board website. A Financial Aid Advisor will be able to determine if they can make the change or if it requires a new application submission.
Any scholarship amounts shown as part of your estimated aid notification are not estimated. Scholarship offers are based on academic, athletic or artistic/performance talents. They are not impacted by the results of your FAFSA or CSS Profile. The estimated financial aid notification is an estimate of federal, state and/or SMU aid you may be eligible to receive based on CSS Profile calculated financial need.
It is important to remember that the estimated aid notification you received is an approximation of costs and financial aid eligibility. A final aid offer will be sent after we have received your FAFSA data. For more detailed Information on the Cost of Attendance, including information on Direct and Indirect costs, please visit the SMU Cost of Attendance webpage.
It could be a matter of timing. Based on when your CSS Profile was received, aid notifications are reviewed and sent out once a week. Continue to check your SMU e-mail and my.SMU portal. Another reason may entail us needing to await your 2024-2025 FAFSA to compare and confirm the information with your CSS Profile. We understand the stress you and your family may be experiencing regarding the delay in your aid offer, but by having both financial aid applications it reduces the need for additional documentation, also avoiding further delays in the financial aid process.

Undergraduate Students (Continuing)

  • Submit both the 2024-2025 FAFSA and CSS Profile applications to determine aid eligibility for the next school year. It's important to remember to complete and submit the CSS Profile if you are needing aid consideration for the SMU Opportunity Grant.
  • Helpful video tutorials have been made available on the side menu and below with FAQ's to provide guidance on completing the new 2024-2025 FAFSA.
  • Scholarship renewal review will occur after Spring 2024 grades have been posted. Should a student fall below the minimum GPA requirements, students can enroll in SMU May and/or summer term(s) and grades earned can be used in the GPA calculation prior to the Fall 2024 term. Grades earned from other colleges/universities will not be calculated into the SMU GPA, only course credit will be allowed to transfer (with prior approval from your academic department). Please contact the Financial Aid Advising Office for additional information.
  • Students and their families are encouraged to have their financial aid applications completed as soon as possible. Both the FAFSA and CSS Profile are available to be submitted. Student Financial Services is anticipating financial aid offers for the 2024-2025 school year to begin to be available as early as mid May.
  • Make sure to check your SMU e-mail for any request for additional documents to complete your financial aid offer.
  • Regularly check your SMU Dashboard's To-Do checklist in my.SMU.

Graduate and Professional students seeking federal and state financial assistance only submit the FAFSA. The CSS Profile is for undergraduate students only.    

The new simplified financial aid process for 2024-2025

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been redesigned to simplify the financial aid application process for students and families. The FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress authorized major changes to the FAFSA application.  The application has been redesigned with a reduction in the amount of questions and easier site navigation for the applicant. The most significant change for the FAFSA is the transition away from the old Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) calculation to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) that will now be used to determine a student’s federal aid eligibility. Additional benefits include, accessibility across multiple electronic devices (desktop, tablet, phone) and the ease of Federal Tax Information (FTI) being transferred from the IRS on to FAFSA using the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). 

Changes to the 24-25 FASFA Application  Video Summary

FAFSA has had a significant reduction in its number of questions form a little over 100 down to about 46 and possibly less depending on how questions are answered.
Student Aid Index (SAI) will be used to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid. The new calculation will use information submitted from student and Contributor(s) to determine federal aid eligibility.
Although the number of family members in college will no longer factor into the financial aid calculation, it’s still required to be answered on the FAFSA application.
Families will be required to provide the value of land, livestock, buildings, etc. minus any debts against the assets of their farm. The value of the resident home on the farm can still be excluded. The net worth of any owned businesses will need to be reported, regardless of the number of full-time employees employed.
Log into studentaid.gov using your username and password to navigate to your account Dashboard. Select "2024-25 FAFSA Form" from the "My Activity" page. You will be able to see the current status of the application.

FSA ID Process and Requirements  Video Summary

All applicants must create an account with StudentAid.gov to submit a FAFSA online, https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The FSA ID is a username and password that will need to be created for login to complete and submit the FAFSA application.
Yes. Parents will need to create their own separate FSA ID from the student to complete their portion of the FAFSA application.
Parents who do not have a Social Security number will be able to create an FSA ID using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is required for tax filing purposes in the US. For parent(s) who don’t file a US tax return and have no Social Security number the FAFSA paper application will need to be submitted with their signature(s).

No. Any previous created FSA ID’s will still be active. If you have forgotten your previously established username of password you can still retrieve it.

It generally takes 48 hours for a newly created FSA to become fully effective. FSA ID’s can be created ahead of 24-25 FAFSA application being available. Just make sure to keep your username and password some place you’ll remember should you need it.

Who are “Contributors” on FAFSA?  Video Summary

Individuals who are not the student but provide information for the completion of the application, which could be parent(s), stepparent or student spouse (Independent students). Contributors will be invited via email from FAFSA to complete their portion of the application. (Contributor information is required in determining a student’s federal aid eligibility, but it doesn’t mean they are required to assist student financially with educational cost.)
The parent that provides the greatest financial support during the previous 12 months to the student would be the Contributor.
If both parents provide equal financial support, the Contributor then be identified as the parent with greater financial resources (income, assets, etc.).
For a student’s FAFSA to calculate their federal aid eligibility the Contributor will need to provide all requested information. Additionally, Contributors must Consent to having their Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred from the IRS onto the FAFSA using the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). If the Contributor does not provide their information nor grant Consent, federal aid eligibility cannot be calculated for the student.
Federal Tax Information (FTI) is the tax return information for the student or Contributor(s) directly from the IRS. Direct Data Exchange (DDX) replaces the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on FAFSA allowing the secure transfer of tax information from the IRS onto the FAFSA application.

Consent for Financial Information  Video Summary

Consent is now required for student and Contributor(s) to share their tax information from the IRS to the FAFSA application. Consent will need to be granted every new school year a FAFSA application is submitted, it will not automatically carry over.
If Consent is not granted for the Federal Tax Information (FTI) to be transferred on to the FAFSA the Student Aid Index can not be calculated and the student will not be eligible to receive federal aid.
If the student and/or Contributor(s) have given Consent and the Federal Tax Information (FTI) cannot be transferred onto the FAFSA, the application will allow tax information to be entered manually by student and/or Contributor(s). Student and Contributor(s) must first grant Consent and attempt to use Direct Data Exchange to transfer Federal Tax Information before entering tax information manually or federal aid eligibility will not be calculated.
Yes. All applicants and Contributor(s) must provide Consent regardless of their tax filing status, income or no reported income. Not granting Consent will prevent the federal aid eligibility calculation and student will not receive federal aid.
Yes. Starting with the 24-25 FAFSA, Federal Tax Information (FTI) containing Amended Tax Return information can be transferred onto the FAFSA as long as Consent is granted.
Yes. They will need to provide Consent even though the Direct Data Exchange will be unable to obtain Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS. Consent will still be required to calculate financial aid eligibility for the student. The Contributor(s) would need to enter the financial information manually and convert their foreign funds into US dollars on FAFSA.