If your child will be in college between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, it’s time to apply for financial aid. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
Several states and schools have “first-come, first-served” financial aid programs that can run out of money quickly. Don’t miss out on financial aid—submit the FAFSA as soon as possible!
Start the FAFSA!
Your child should use his or her FSA ID to start the FAFSA. This will speed up the process and help you avoid common mistakes. If your child is a dependent student, you, the parent, will also need an FSA ID to sign your child’s FAFSA online.
Two Major Changes to the 2017–18 FAFSA:
- The FAFSA launched on October 1, three months earlier than in previous years. Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize financial aid.
- The FAFSA now requires earlier (2015) tax information. This makes it easier to complete the FAFSA! Since you have already filed your 2015 taxes, you can electronically import your tax information directly into the FAFSA. This is fast, accurate, and reduces the amount of paperwork that may be required by your child’s school.
What happens if we wait to fill out the FAFSA?
You could miss out on lots of money for college. Some states and schools have limited financial aid to offer and some types of aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Fill out the FAFSA right now if you want to get as much financial aid as possible! (Even if your deadlines aren’t for a while.)
If we fill out the FAFSA now, will we have to update it after we file 2016 taxes?
No. For your 2017–18 FAFSA, you only provide 2015 tax information. You do NOT provide 2016 tax information, even after you’ve filed 2016 taxes.
What if our family’s income has gone down since 2015? Can we report our 2016 tax info instead?
No. You do not have the option to report your 2016 info on your FAFSA. We understand that for some families, 2015 income information may not accurately reflect your current financial situation. If you have experienced a loss of income since the 2015 tax year, complete the FAFSA with your 2015 info, and then contact the financial aid office at your school to explain and document your change in income. They have the ability to review your situation and may consider making adjustments to your FAFSA.