New Financial Aid Regulations and Processes
The Big Changes for 2017–18
Starting with the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the following changes have been put in place:
Students are now able to submit a FAFSA earlier. Students have been able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA since Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date is a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 every year. (There is NO CHANGE to the 2016–17 schedule. The FAFSA became available Jan. 1 as in previous years.)
Students now report earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students are required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.
It’s very important that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when you’re completing your FAFSA application on-line. The FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) will allow you to access and transfer your (and your parent’s if you are a dependent student) IRS tax information to your FAFSA. Using the IRS DRT will speed up the financial aid verification process and help prevent conflicting financial information between different award years that can delay your financial aid.
Maximum Pell Grant award will increase from $5,815 to $5,920.00 a year.