The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed by students who wish to apply for Federal, State, and University need-based aid, and is the only application you need to complete to be considered for need-based aid at the University of Maine at Farmington. You must file a FAFSA every academic year to be considered for need-based financial aid.

This form is available online at

UMF has a March 1 priority deadline for the FAFSA. This means that the completed FAFSA must be submitted to the Federal Processor by March 1.

Filing the FAFSA

Filing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most important step in the financial aid process. Every student applying to UMF should file the FAFSA.

Here, Associate Director of Financial Aid Joe Toner breaks down the steps in applying.


The FSA ID is the user name and password students will use to access all Federal Student Aid websites, including, which is where you go to file your FAFSA. It takes about 10 minutes to create an account and set up an FSA ID.

We strongly recommend getting FSA ID’s ahead of time. For dependent students, at least one parent will also need to create an account and set up an FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically. To create and set up an FSA ID, go to and click on “Create Account.”

Keep track of your FSA ID information by writing down your user name and password and answers to your security questions, and keep it in a safe place. You will need this FSA ID going forward.

FAFSA Simplification

We will continue to update this webpage as we receive more information from the Department of Education. (Last updated 2/2/2024)

The Department of Education has officially soft-launched the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). indicates that during this soft launch period, the application will only be available for short periods of time, while ongoing technical updates and maintenance are performed.

While we encourage you to attempt to complete your FAFSA as soon as possible, if you and/or your contributors are unable to access the application during this soft launch period, please be assured that you have not missed any University of Maine financial aid-related deadlines at this time.

The Department of Education is expected to begin sending the FAFSA information to the University of Maine at Farmington during the first half of March.

Here’s a summary of what to expect:

  • When students submit a FAFSA, they should receive a “We’ve Received your FAFSA Form” confirmation email from the U.S. Department of Education.  If a Student Aid Index or SAI (formerly EFC) can be calculated, the email will include an estimated SAI.  This email is only being sent to students, not parents.
  • The status for all submitted FAFSAs will show as “In Review” until FAFSAs are processed in March.
  • Colleges won’t receive any FAFSAs until the first half of March.
  • Students won’t be able to make corrections or add schools to their FAFSA until sometime in March.
  • FAFSA Submission Summaries (FSS) (formerly the Student Aid Report or SAR), which include the SAI and allow students to make corrections, will not be available until sometime in March.  If the FSS or SAI is needed for a scholarship, check with the scholarship organization to see what documentation is acceptable and the date by which it is needed.
  • Once colleges receive FAFSA data, they will need time to load records, test their systems, and generate financial aid offers.  It is unlikely that colleges will be able to send financial aid offers until sometime in April.

In 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, need analysis, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in the Title IV programs. The changes will provide:

  • a more streamlined application process,
  • expanded eligibility for federal financial aid,
  • reduced barriers for certain student populations, and
  • a better user experience for the FAFSA form.

Changes to the FAFSA:

  • The number of questions on the FAFSA has decreased from over 100 to less than 50.
  • The EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) is now the Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • Students can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.
  • Applicants will be asked to report their sex, race, and ethnicity on the FAFSA itself, but students will be offered a choice of “Prefer Not to Answer”. Schools and states won’t see responses to these questions on the FAFSA.
  • The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) has been renamed the Direct Data Exchange (DDX)
  • The Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will no longer be the parent with whom you lived more during the past 12 months, but rather the parent who provided you with more financial support.
  • Students, spouses, parents, and stepparents will now need to provide their consent in the new Consent to Retrieve and Disclose Federal Tax Information section of the FAFSA for federal student aid eligibility.
    • This consent will allow the IRS to share FTI.
    • If any party to the FAFSA form does not provide consent, submission of the form will still be allowed. However, a Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated.

Changes to Calculating Aid Eligibility:

Students and families will see a different measure of their ability to pay for college, and they will experience a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

  • The new need analysis formula:
    • removes the number of family members in college from the calculation
    • allows a minimum SAI of -$1,500
    • implements separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grant.
  • Child support received will be included in assets and not as untaxed income.
  • Families who own a small business/farm that also serves as primary residence will now have assets of that business/farm considered in their need analysis calculation.

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact us. We look forward to helping you.

Merrill Center Student Services
University of Maine at Farmington
224 Main Street
Merrill Hall
Farmington, Maine 04938
tel  207-778-7100
fax  207-778-7555
TDD/TTY  207 778-7244