What’s changing for 2017–18?
Starting with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), these changes will be in effect:
- You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA® earlier. You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
- You’ll use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information.
How will the changes benefit me?
We expect that you’ll benefit in these ways:
- Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
- Because you’ll already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA. (Learn about the IRS DRT at StudentAid.gov/irsdrt.)
- Because the FAFSA is available earlier, you may feel less pressure due to having more time to explore and understand your financial aid options.
Can I choose to report 2016 information if my family’s financial situation has changed since our 2015 taxes were filed?
You must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, talk to the financial aid office about the family’s situation.
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.Over 90% of students at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor receive some form of Financial Aid. UMHB might be right for you! We’re a Christ-centered, accredited university in Central Texas. Come on, stop by for a visit this week.