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Important Information Regarding FAFSA

By Rachel Levi; For The Clock
On September 22, 2016

Important Information Regarding FAFSA

Rachel Levi

For The Clock

The process for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now much simpler.

First, students and families will be able to apply for financial aid for the 2017-2018 academic year beginning October 1st, 2016. In previous years the FAFSA was not available until January 1st.

Second, the FAFSA will now be completed with federal tax information from two years prior (aka priorprior year). So, you may ask, what does this mean for us? Because 2015 tax returns would have already been filed, most people will be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), which draws tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA. This means no more estimating tax information, and no more backtracking later to fix estimated numbers. 

Another benefit is that financial awards will be completed earlier, allowing more time for students to financially plan for the upcoming academic year. Incoming students will also have more time to consider different schools based upon their financial aid awards. Because your 2015 federal tax information will be used for both 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, it is really important to update your 2016-17 FAFSA information with actual income information so there’s no conflicting information when 2017/2018 FAFSA is filed. The priority filing deadline for FAFSA remains March 1st, 2017 so be sure to file before then in order to maximize your aid eligibility.

For more information, contact or visit the financial aid office, located in the bottom level of Speare.

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