The Federal Application for Free Student Aid is a form used to determine whether or not a students can qualify for federal money to help pay for college and college-related expenses. The award is need-based, and requires that students and their parents provide information about their financial situation in order to determine if they qualify. There are different types of awards including Pell Grants and student loans. Visit the FAFSA website for more information and to begin an application.
FAFSA® Changes for 2017–18
On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process that will impact millions of students. Starting with the 2017–18 application cycle, the following changes will be put in place:
Students will be able to submit a FAFSA® earlier. Students will be able to file 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 a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. (There is NO CHANGE to the 2016–17 schedule. The FAFSA became available January 1 as in previous years.)
Students will use earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.
The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.
To see changes to the FAFSA application for 2017-18, click here.