Starting this fall, important changes are being made to how students will file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), simplifying the process for many students.
When submitting the FAFSA for the 2017-18 year, returning students will be using the same tax records that they used for this current year – their federal income tax returns for 2015.
Using the earlier year’s tax year makes it simpler for students and families to complete the FAFSA, because they won’t need to scramble to file their federal returns early.
In addition, most aid applicants and their parents will be able to use the FAFSA/IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to automatically transfer required tax return information directly from the IRS into their FAFSA. This increases the accuracy of information used to determine aid eligibility and streamlines the process of the FAFSA income information verification.
These changes will reduce the number of steps involved for most student filers, shortening the time needed to complete the form, reducing errors and increasing accuracy. For those students whose family income may have significantly decreased, you are encouraged to talk to me in the Financial Aid Office.
You can also now file earlier.
Students may begin to file the 2017-2018 FAFSA was early as October 1, 2016. Filing annually is still required for financial aid, but filing earlier will allow more time for the verification process. For current students at PCA&D, financial aid award letters will still be distributed starting in May, after academic progress is determined.
Four things to remember:
- You still need to file the FAFSA every year
- When submitting the FAFSA for the 2017-18 year, use using the same tax records that used for this current year for both you and your parents.
- Use the FAFSA/IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to automatically transfer required tax return information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA.
- File the FAFSA early. You can get this task done as early as October 1.
If you have any questions, please ask. I can be reached at 717-396-7833 X 1013 or [email protected].