FAFSA Changes for the 2017-18 Academic Year
On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced two major changes coming soon to the financial aid process. Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, students will be able to:
Submit a FAFSA earlier.
- Students will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date is a permanent change to the financial aid cycle. Students will submit their FAFSA as early as October 1 every year, starting with the 2017-18 FAFSA.
Use earlier income information.
- Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will report income from an earlier tax year. For example, with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents) will report their 2015 income information.
*It is very important for applicants and parents who are eligible to do so to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) for their 2016-17 FAFSAs, either when initially completing their FAFSA online or later by using the FAFSA online correction process. They should once again use the IRS DRT when completing their 2017-18 FAFSAs. Using the IRS DRT for both FAFSA years will help foster a smooth application process and reduce the risk of conflicting information between the two years.