Plan For College

Monday, September 26, 2016

Changes to the FAFSA- PART 2- More Questions You Might Have...

If we completed the FAFSA in 2016-17 will this information automatically carry over to my new 2017-18 renewal FAFSA?

According to the Federal FAFSA processing center
“No. Too much could have changed since you filed your last FAFSA, and there’s no way to predict what might be different, so you’ll need to enter the information again. However, keep in mind that many people are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their 2015 tax information into the FAFSA, making the process of reporting tax info quick and easy.”

Do I have to update my 2017–18 FAFSA with my 2016 tax information after I file my 2016 taxes?

According to the Federal FAFSA processing centerNo. The 2017–18 FAFSA asks for 2015 tax info, and only 2015. Beginning October 1, you can fully submit the FAFSA in one sitting using your 2015 tax info. No updating necessary.”

But what if my family’s financial situation has changed since our 2015 taxes were filed? Can we report our 2016 tax information instead?

According to the Federal FAFSA processing center – No. You must report your 2015 tax info on the 2017–18 FAFSA. You do not have the option to report your 2016 tax info. If your family has experienced a loss of income since the 2015 tax year, talk to the financial aid office at your school. They have the ability to assess your situation and make adjustments.
Note: The FAFSA asks for marital status as of the day you fill it out. So if you’re married now but weren’t in 2015 (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), you’ll need to add your spouse’s income to your FAFSA.
Similarly, if you filed your 2015 taxes as married but you’re no longer married when you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to subtract your spouse’s income.”

Will FAFSA deadlines be earlier since the application is launching earlier?

According to the Federal FAFSA processing center – “We expect that most state and school deadlines will remain approximately the same as in 2016–17. However, several states that offer first come, first served financial aid will change their deadlines from “as soon as possible after January 1” to “as soon as possible after October 1. So, as always, it’s important that you check your state and school deadlines so that you don’t miss out on any aid. State deadlines are on fafsa.gov; school deadlines are on schools’ websites.”

Will I receive aid offers earlier if I apply earlier?

According to the Federal FAFSA processing center – “Not necessarily; some schools will make offers earlier while others won’t. If you’re applying to multiple schools or thinking of transferring to another school, you might want to look at the College Scorecard to compare costs at different schools while you wait for your aid offers to arrive. Note: You should be aware that the maximum Federal Pell Grant for 2017–18 might not be known until early 2017, so keep in mind that even if you do receive an aid offer early, it could change due to various factors.”


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