FAFSA Updates

 
PRIOR-PRIOR YEAR INCOME AND EARLY FAFSA
July 18, 2016

On September 13, 2015 President Obama signed an executive order that will allow families to complete the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using income information from the 2015 federal tax return, the same income information that you and your parents used when filing the 2016-2017 FAFSA.  This change from prior year income to prior-prior year income when completing the FASFA will allow students and parents to report final, accurate income information on the FAFSA as most families will have already completed their 2015 taxes. 

As a result, the 2017-18 FAFSA will be available as early as October 1, 2016, compared to previous practice of January 1st.

With this change in mind and that the 2015 federal tax return filing deadline has passed, it is time to update your 2016-2017 FAFSA information with final 2015 income data.  In order to avoid any discrepancies between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, we strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your 2016-17 FAFSA income information.  If you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing your 2016-17 FAFSA no further action is required.  But if not, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available through the FAFSA website (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and saves time in the following ways:

  • No need to locate your tax records;
  • No need to worry about making mistakes entering your tax return information on the FAFSA;
  • If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and do not change any of the retrieved information on the FAFSA, you won’t need to provide IRS Tax  Transcripts to the Financial Aid Office; and,
  • If you use the IRS Date Retrieval Tool for both 2016-2017 and 2047-2018 academic years, it will reduce the chances of questions from the Financial Aid Office regarding conflicting information.