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Changes to Financial Aid: No More Discounts for Multiple Students in College

Updated 12/08/2023

For years, families with multiple students in college have enjoyed a financial aid perk that lightened the burden of higher education costs. This discount, a break for having more than one child in college simultaneously, has been a benefit for many.


However, changes are on the horizon in 2024-25. The new FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid) methodology will no longer consider the number of family members attending college when determining financial aid eligibility. This is a significant change for many that will affect if/how these families will be able to pay for college.


Implications of the Change

The removal of this discount for multiple children in college will have the following implications for families:


  • Reduced Financial Eligibility: Previously, families with a calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $40,000 could see that number drop significantly if they had two students in college. In some cases, the EFC could decrease by as much as 50%, resulting in an EFC of $20,000 per student. However, under the new legislation, families will not benefit from this discount.


  • Unchanged Calculated EFC: Without the discount, the calculated EFC (Student Aid Index) will remain $40,000 per student. This means that families with multiple students in college will no longer experience the financial relief they once did.


  • School Discretion: Although the new FAFSA methodology no longer considers the number of family members attending college, schools may still have the discretion to adjust financial aid offers. Some institutions may consider the unique financial burden faced by families with multiple students in college.


The changes in FAFSA methodology for 2024-25 signal the end of the discount for families with multiple children in college, resulting in potential reduced financial aid eligibility for such families, making it essential to plan and budget accordingly.


Fortunately, individual schools may still consider the unique financial challenges faced by these families and may help them with tuition reduction or other support. Now more than ever, it’s crucial for students and their parents to stay informed and work closely with their chosen institutions to navigate these changes and secure the financial assistance they need to pay for college. Find out more about other ways to get more financial aid and remember to sign up for our “Paying for College” no essay scholarship.