As you may have heard, some major changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process. Starting with the 2017–18 FAFSA, these changes will be in effect:
- You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA earlier. In the past, the earliest you could file your FAFSA was the 1st of January prior to the academic year for which you were applying. Starting with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, You will be able to file as early as October 1st. That’s less than five weeks away! You should find this change helpful because you’ll have a much bigger cushion of time in which to submit your FAFSA before your school and state deadlines.
- You’ll use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, you will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information. This change should make the application process easier, because you will already have done your taxes by the time you do your FAFSA. That means that you’ll no longer need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it. Additionally, you may be able to save time by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA (Learn about the IRS DRT at StudentAid.gov/irsdrt.)
We’ve adapted this post from this article from studentaid.gov, which we strongly encourage you to read. Then, contact your OCRS advisor if you need assistance or clarification. Remember, we’re just a phone call away!