If you have a child beginning college or already enrolled in school you should be aware of the following changes. Beginning with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the following changes have been put in place:
- The 2017–18 FAFSA will be available earlier.
You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
- You’ll use earlier income and tax information.
Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, you’ll be required to report income and tax info 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 info, rather than your 2016 income and tax info.
To be considered for federal student aid for the 2017-2018 award year, you can complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between October 1, 2016, and midnight Central Time, June 30, 2018. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 15, 2018.
You should also know that the federal deadline isn’t earlier, but some state and school deadlines are. Most state and school deadlines haven’t changed, but be aware of that: Several states’ deadlines have changed from “as soon as possible after Jan. 1” to “as soon as possible after Oct. 1.” Find state deadlines on the FAFSA and school deadlines on schools’ website.