Early FAFSA – Applying for Financial Assistance

All students are eligible for some form of financial assistance to help pay for college. Most financial assistance is based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; other assistance is based on academic achievement or other merit criteria.

SUBMIT A FAFSA EARLIER: Students will be able to submit a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit their FAFSAs as early as October 1 every year.

USE EARLIER INCOME AND TAX INFORMATION: Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than their 2016 income and tax information.

Early FAFSA Dates

If You Plan to Attend College FromYou Will Submit This FAFSAYou Can Submit the FAFSA FromUsing Income and Tax Information From
July 1, 2016 – June 30, 20172016-17Jan 1, 2016 – June 30, 20172015
July 1, 2017 – June 30, 20182017-18Oct 1, 2016 – June 30, 20182015
July 1, 2018 – June 30, 20192018-19Oct 1, 2017 – June 30, 20192016

Early FAFSA Tax Data: As stated above students and parents will report their 2015 income and tax information on the 2017-2018 FAFSA. There will be no option to choose 2016 income and tax information when you file your 2017-2018 FAFSA.