Changes Coming to the FAFSA

Feb 26th, 2016 | College Preparation, High school, Inside Higher Ed

On September 14, 2015, important new changes were announced regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for students applying to college for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. The FAFSA is one of the two financial aid forms that students and parents must fill out while applying to college or trade schools; the other required financial aid form, which is mostly requested by private schools, is the College Board’s CSS Profile.  The FAFSA is widely used to determine eligibility for federal aid, as well as for some state and  private student aid, including grants and scholarships, loans and work study opportunities. If you are, or have, a high school junior or younger, read on!

For the 2017-2018 school year, students will be able to access and submit the FAFSA as early as October 1st, 2016! Previously, this form was not available until January 1st of the application year, which led to some delays in finalizing student aid packages. Families first had to complete an estimated FAFSA in the fall of the student’s senior year, and submit completed tax forms from prior years, which then needed to be replaced with more current forms. Now, families will be able to finalize their submitted FAFSAs with their most recently completed tax forms right away.  The earlier date will simplify the filing of the FAFSA by reducing or eliminating the need for verification with more current tax data submitted later on. It will also enable students to submit their FAFSA, along with the CSS Profile, to their Early Decision and Early Action schools in order to get a more accurate and realistic picture of their federal aid options along with their early application responses.  These changes should help to reduce some of the stress associated with applying for financial aid in order to go to college.
For more need-to-know information for college-bound students, contact us at Sandweiss Test Prep!  We have been helping students in the local Seattle and Greater Eastside area with college planning and testing resources since 2005!