Changes to the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

College students need to complete the Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for any needed financial aid. Two new changes have taken affect for the new FAFSA process:
  • You can now submit the FAFSA form as early as Oct 1st., instead of the previous Jan 1 submission date.  This is not the deadline, but students who apply earlier tend to receive more aid.
  • Going forward, you can base your answers on your federal tax return from the previous year (referred to as “prior-prior year”). You’d use your 2015 federal tax return for the 2017-18 academic year; the 2016 return for the 2018-19 academic year; and so on.
To fill out your FREE application, go to FAFSA First-time users will have to create an FSA ID (user name & password). Documents needed to complete the FAFSA are:
  • Student and parents’ social security numbers
  • Federal tax returns
  • W-2 forms
  • Bank and investment statements
  • Driver’s licenses
You have to resubmit the FAFSA with updated financial information each year you’re going to college, so don’t forget your user name and password. If you’re having trouble with a FSA ID, you can call 1-800-557-7394 or go to Student Aid

About the author:

Tom Scanlon, CPA, CFP®

Tom Scanlon has over twenty-five years experience in public accounting with an extensive background in the areas of financial, tax and estate planning. Find Tom on Google+

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