The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is changing in two important ways starting with the 2017-2018 school year.
First, the 2017-2018 FAFSA application will be available to complete starting on October 1, 2016, three months earlier than in past years. This will give you more time to resolve any income verification requirements or supplemental requests from financial aid offices. In addition, learning about your federal aid eligibility earlier will allow you and your family to better understand each institution’s cost information and make more informed decisions about how to pay for your education.
Second, the income figures used on the FAFSA will be from two years prior rather than one. This means that for the 2017-18 award year, you will use the income figures from 2015 to complete the application. By using earlier income data, more students like you will have completed tax information available by the time they are ready to apply for financial aid. This will make it easier to fill in application forms, and increases the likelihood that you will be able to import your income directly from the IRS using the online Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
Read the FAQ provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
Visit our guide for completing your FAFSA.
Contact your Financial Aid office if you have any questions or concerns about the application process.