The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) lets students receive aid that includes loans, work-study programs, and federal or state student grants.
Attending College From
July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017: You can submit the FAFSA from January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 and use income tax data from 2015.
July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018: You can submit the FAFSA from October 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018 and use income tax data from 2015.
July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019: You can submit the FAFSA from October 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019 and use income tax data from 2016.
- You don’t have to apply to a school before listing it on your FAFSA.
- Choosing the renewal option allows you to carry over last year’s FAFSA information. Only the basics will carry over; thus, income and taxes will have to be re-entered.
- Even if your family’s income has changed, you still have to report the required year the FAFSA asks for.
- Some schools will make offers earlier than others. Be sure to read through all of the information. You should try and file as close to October 1st as possible. This is the first day in which you can file the FAFSA. You should also review your schools’ financial aid deadlines. You’ll have your bases covered if you file as early as possible.
- The FAFSA asks for current marital status. Meaning, what is your status while you’re filling it out. Depending upon the situation, a spouse’s income may need to be updated. It may need to be removed or added.
- Students may complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1st every year. The FAFSA was available on January 1st in previous years. Students have been able to file since October 1, 2016.
- Students can use income from an earlier tax year. Starting with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students will use income from two years ago. Students will use 2015 income information instead of 2016 income information. As long as you can find your 2015 tax year data, the information should already be saved and ready to go!
- All 2016-2017 FAFSA applications must be submitted by midnight, June 30, 2017 (CT).
After You Apply
- Student Aid Report (SAR) - You’ll receive a student aid report from the U.S. Department of Education. This could come via email or postal mail. This report contains all of the data that you entered on the FAFSA. Review any errors and submit necessary corrections.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - The student aid report will encompass an expected family contribution number. The number is representative of your family’s financial strength. It’s sent to the schools listed on your FAFSA as well as the state scholarship organization. The number is used to determine your financial aid.