Monday, May 2, 2016

The 2017–18 FAFSA®: Changes for an earlier, easier process.

We’re always looking for ways to make the process simpler for students applying for federal student aid. And two big changes to the 2017–18 FAFSA process will do just that:
1.     Students can submit the 2017–18 FAFSA earlier. In the past, students had to wait until January 1, but now they can submit it a full three months earlier on Oct. 1, 2016.
2.     They’ll use earlier income and tax information, too. For the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents) must report their 2015 income and tax information rather than their 2016 income and tax information. This makes it easier because most people will have already filed their 2015 taxes, and they may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their tax information into the FAFSA.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “But wait, what will these changes do to my yearly calendar and schedule?” If so, don’t worry. We’ve got tons of resources and communication materials to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Resources for you:

Fact Sheet for Partners, Mentors, and Counselors. This PDF outlines the new changes and answers the questions that partners, mentors and counselors have about the updates.
Presentation for Partners, Mentors, and Counselors. This presentation outlines the new changes to the FAFSA and can be used to provide updates to colleagues.
2017-18 FAFSA Messaging and Planning Calendar. This document provides you with resources to help plan your communications during May and June. Then, in June, we’ll offer suggested messaging for August 1 until the FAFSA is available. (Look for an e-mail reminder about it coming in June.)
2017–18 FAFSA Talking Points. This Word document offers messaging you can use when discussing the 2017–18 FAFSA changes. We’ve provided a general message along with variations tailored to different audiences.
FAFSA Announcements Page. This is where you can find the latest news and documents related to the FAFSA.

Resources to help your students and their parents:

Changes to the FAFSA Process for 2017–18 Graphic. Feel free to use this downloadable image to help students and parents understand the timing and income and tax information requirements for the 2017–18 FAFSA. You can download it and use it in any of your communications.
Download a Text-only Version
(for 508 accessibility)
Fact Sheet for Parents and College Students. This PDF helps parents and students understand the 2017–18 FAFSA changes and addresses likely questions.
Presentation for Parents and College Students. These presentation slides can be used to share the 2017–18 FAFSA changes with parents and students.
Download the Presentation

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