October 1st marked the beginning of the new filing period for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The filing period previously began on January 1st; however this will be a permanent change, enabling students to submit a FAFSA as early as October 1st every year.
The change creates a better alignment between the financial aid and the college application processes, to provide more certainty for students. It means they will not have to estimate income information, and it allows more time for students and parents to explore and understand financial aid options before state and school deadlines.
Additionally, beginning this year, students are required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 information. Since 2015 taxes are already completed, students and parents won’t need to estimate tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
Check out our President and CEO, Bonnie Sutton, on Channel 13 (WVEC) discussing the changes! Click here.
Bonnie and our Program Director, Cheryl Jones, also appeared on HearSay with Cathy Lewis to discuss the changes. The full episode is available here: Click here.