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Filing the FAFSA Just Got Earlier... and Easier!
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for most types of financial aid. The process is changing for the 2017-2018 year that begins Fall 2017.
For the 2017-2018 school year:
- You can submit the 2017-2018 FAFSA starting October 1, 2016; and,
- You won't have to estimate income information because you'll report income and tax information from the 2015 tax year; and,
- You and your family may be able to automatically import income information from the IRS to the FAFSA while you're completing the FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). If you are offered the option of using the IRS DRT while completing the FAFSA, we strongly encourage you to use it, and to not change any information imported by the tool.
For prior years:
- The earliest you could file the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year was January 1st because the income and tax information had to come from the tax year that ended December 31st.
- Most families had to estimate their income and tax-related information on the FAFSA since they had not yet completed their federal tax returns.
- Later, when tax returns were completed, families had to go back and update the FAFSA with actual income and tax information.