FAFSA Changes for 2017–18
Please be aware, there will be significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process that will impact millions of students.
Starting next year, 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.
- Use Earlier Income Information: Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will 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. This will mean that for continuing students, your 2017-2018 FAFSA will use the same income information as on your 2016-2017 FAFSA.
Other Important Information:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool: Since the FAFSA will now be based on an earlier tax year, there should be no reason to file a FAFSA using ‘estimated’ income information.
When completing the FAFSA, most applicants (and their parents, as appropriate) will be able to match certain required income fields directly with the IRS via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Using the IRS Data Retrieval option is HIGHLY recommended for all FAFSA filers who are able
- NJ State Application Deadlines Are Also Changing: Continuing NJ State Grant recipients (TAG, etc) must now file their FAFSA by April 15 each year in order to be considered for NJ State Aid for the next academic year. Also, required additional information must be submitted to the State no later than September 15.
NJ residents, make sure you complete the additional state questions by following the link on the FAFSA confirmation page or by going to www.njgrants.org 3-5 days after you have completed your FAFSA.