FAFSA UPDATES TAKE EFFECT OCT. 1, 2016
Starting this fall , instead of waiting until you and/or your parents have completed your tax returns for the previous year, you can now complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, using information from TWO years prior. Watch this quick video to learn more about how you’ll benefit from this new move to using prior-prior year income data.
What does that mean for you?
When completing the 17-18 FAFSA you will be able to use your 2015 taxes. Because you will be using 2015 income information, there is a greater chance that you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The DRT allows you to transfer your official IRS tax information into the FAFSA, reducing errors and speeding up completion time.
FILING EARLY IS KEY
We cannot stress enough the importance of filing your FAFSA using the 2015 tax information as early as you are able. Roughly $150 billion in aid is awarded annually to college students by the Federal government in the form of need-based grants, loans, and work-study funds. If you file your application late, you may risk missing out on certain funds.
UNDERSTANDING PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENTS
If you are currently making much more or much less income that you did in 2015 then there is a significant difference between your current income and the income reported on your 2015 taxes. We encourage you to reach out to your Financial Aid Office so that we can help review your income changes and determine if Professional Judgment can be used to ensure the financial information on your FAFSA accurately reflects your current financial situation. Keep in mind you will still need to complete the FAFSA with the appropriate 2015 data. The aid office will guide you through any necessary steps if professional judgment is required.
The FAFSA changes bring advantages for students and parents, who previously may have felt rushed to complete their taxes and to make decisions on which school to attend. These changes mean you can:
• Apply earlier for financial aid via the FAFSA, available Oct. 1, 2016
• Potentially qualify for additional aid due to earlier application
• Have additional time to resolve any income verification requirements
HERE TO SUPPORT YOU
Please reach out to the Financial Aid Office via [phone] or [email] with questions or concerns you may have regarding the upcoming PPY changes. We appreciate that financial aid and the college admissions process can be an emotional time, and we want to make the path as smooth and enjoyable as possible.