Students who plan to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to receive financial aid for college may do so beginning Saturday, Oct. 1, and those students need to know about two important changes to the FAFSA.
Starting with the 2017-18 financial aid application cycle, the following changes will take effect:
Students will be able to submit a FAFSA earlier. Students will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change.
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.
To apply for financial aid, most students complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. Filing an online FAFSA is the fastest and easiest way to apply for aid. The online FAFSA will guide you through the application; click on the “Start A New FAFSA” button on the home page, and follow the directions on the screen.
Students should pay very close attention to financial aid-related deadlines. Students should check their state and school deadlines so they don’t miss out on any aid. State deadlines are on www.fafsa.gov; school deadlines are on schools’ websites.
“As a university dedicated to helping all qualified students achieve their college dreams, we want to be sure that students who are eligible for need-based financial aid apply for and receive the maximum amount of aid possible,” said University of Florida President Kent Fuchs. “With that goal in mind, we hope that students and their families pay close attention to the new rules and deadlines for submitting an aid application.”
By filing a FAFSA …