FAFSA and Application Priority Date
What is Early FAFSA or Prior-Prior Year?
All students must apply or reapply yearly for financial aid.
To be given the greatest consideration, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to December 1st, the UCF priority date.
What’s new in the 2017-2018 FAFSA?
Starting with the 2017-2018 FAFSA:
- Students can file the 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, instead of beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change to the FAFSA process.
- Students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students (and parents) will report 2015 income and tax information, rather than 2016 income and tax information.
|When a Student Is Attending College||When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA||Which Year’s Income and Tax Information Is Required|
|July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017||Jan. 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017||2015|
|July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018||Oct. 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018||2015|
|July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019||Oct. 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019||2016|
How will the Early FAFSA changes benefit students?
- The FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, students will already have completed taxes by the time of FAFSA filing (October 1st) and won’t need to estimate tax information.
- Because taxes are completed before FAFSA filing time (October 1st), the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) can be used to automatically import tax information into the FAFSA. (Learn about the IRS DRT at StudentAid.gov/irsdrt.)
- With the FAFSA available earlier, students may feel less pressure and have more time to explore and understand financial aid options then apply for aid before state and school deadlines.
Will the 2016-2017 FAFSA information automatically be carried over into the 2017-2018 renewal FAFSA?
No, too much could have changed since the last FAFSA filiing, and there’s no way to predict the differences, the information must be entered again. Many people are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their tax information into the FAFSA, making the process of reporting tax information quick and easy.
Can students report 2016 information if the family’s financial situation has changed since the 2015 taxes were filed?
Students must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If the family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance about your family’s situation.
Marital Status when completing the FAFSA
The FAFSA asks for marital status as of the day the FAFSA was filled out.
If married now but not in 2015 (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), you will 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.