Financial Aid Now Available

There are two major changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process this year. First, the 2017-18 FAFSA will be available to students earlier than in previous years. The FAFSA opened on October 1, 2016, three months earlier than the previous January 1 opening. The second change is that beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, applicants will now enter income information from two years before the start of the academic year, rather than the year before. For example, on the current FAFSA that just opened for the 2017-18 academic year, students will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than their 2016 income and tax information. This means more people will be able to transfer information directly from their federal tax return into the application using an Internal Revenue Service data retrieval tool. This tool fills in many parts of the aid application, making the process smoother, more accurate and less likely to trigger a verification request.

The Department of Education has posted an FAQ (or in this case, frequent tweets) with agency responses. Students can also text “COLLEGE” to 44044 to receive important reminders about financial aid and FAFSA filing.