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.

  • FAFSA help video
  • Students can file the 2020-2021 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2019, instead of beginning on January 1. 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 2020-2021 FAFSA, students (and parents) will report 2018 income and tax information, rather than 2019 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, 2020 –
June 30, 2021
Oct. 1, 2019 –
June 30, 2021

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.
  • Taxes are completed before FAFSA filing time (October 1st).
  • 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.

Can students report 2019 information if the family’s financial situation has changed since the 2018 taxes were filed?

Students must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If the family’s income has changed substantially since the 2018 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 2018 (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 2018 taxes as married but you’re no longer married when you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to subtract your spouse’s income.