Important FAFSA news for parents with current or prospective college students:
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known also as FAFSA) is the method of application for student financial aid. This is a free application. Future and prospective college students must complete a yearly FAFSA to determine a student’s eligibility for student financial aid.
There are two changes to the FAFSA application for the 2017-2018 school year:
- The application is available earlier: The 2017-18 FAFSA is available starting October 1, 2016. This is a permanent change from prior years as the original date of availability was January 1, 2017.
- Earlier tax information on FAFSA application: The 2015 income tax return information should be used to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA. This is also a change from prior years. Originally the 2016 tax information was required. This will help many parents avoid a time crunch of hurrying to complete their tax return so the application for FAFSA can be completed as quickly as possible. As many of you know, hurrying to complete a tax return can lead to errors that need to be corrected and could lead to delays in your financial aid.
Both changes will help many parents and students alleviate the stress that accompanies filing your tax return and FAFSA application completion. One last thing, your tax information can be downloaded right into your FAFSA application by using the IRS DRT (Data Retrieval Tool). Look for information on using the DRT at the FAFSA website: https://fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm.