Changes Come to the FAFSA This Month

College bound students and their families typically didn't start thinking about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) until close to the first of the year because the FAFSA could not be filed until January 1st. That's all changing this year - you can now submit your FAFSA beginning October 1st of the prior school year. This means if you are attending college for the 2017-18 academic year (as a freshman or returning student), you can submit your FAFSA now!

Here's what you need to know about the changes to the FAFSA process:

The deadline to file is not changing. For the 2017-18 school year, the FAFSA deadline remains June 30, 2018. As always, you will want to check your state and college deadlines to make sure you meet those - and it's never a good idea to wait until the last minute!

You will use income and tax information from the previous year. You'll no longer have to estimate your income or wait until your taxes are filed for your school year. Just use the tax return you filed with your information from 2015. You should also be able to easily access your tax information with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA.

If your family's income changed drastically from 2015 to 2016, you must still file the FAFSA with 2015 tax information. Once you have filed your FAFSA, the office of Federal Student Aid recommends contacting your school's financial aid office to discuss any changes.

For more information about the changes to the FAFSA process, visit the office of Federal Student Aid's website at You can also find the answers to commonly asked questions about changes here.

Learn more valuable information about the financial aid process through our National Webinar series - sign up for notifications about upcoming webinars, and to access past recordings. Click below to get started!