FAFSA policy changes to make load lighter for students

Kevin Wilson

Graphic courtesy student aid.gov/fafsa
Graphic courtesy student aid.gov/fafsa

A couple of major changes to the FAFSA submission process have been announced by the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Federal Student Aid website, these changes will take effect starting with the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.


The changes are as follows:

  1. FAFSA can now be submitted beginning Oct. 1.

Previously, the earliest possible date for FAFSA submission was Jan. 1. This new submission date will allow students to take advantage of the first-come, first-serve nature of some of their financial aid awards.

  1. FAFSA now allows the use of information from the previous year’s tax return.

This new policy — called “prior-prior return” — is designed to make the FAFSA submission process faster and easier for students and their families. With this policy in place, once students fill out their tax information for the current year, they will not have to fill out this information again the next spring.

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