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For 2017-2018: Effective October 1, 2016, students may complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 each year. This Early FAFSA will request tax and income information from 2015. Students will report income and tax information from one year earlier than had been collected previously; this is sometimes called "prior-prior year" information or PPY. The 2018-19 FAFSA will request 2016 income and tax information; the 2019-2020 FAFSA will request 2017 income and tax information; and so on. We encourage students to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA so this data will be accurate. View more information about the Early FAFSA.
For 2015-2016: Effective May 10, 2015, when students and parents attempt to log on to the FAFSA, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), StudentLoans.gov, and the Studentaid.gov websites, they will be asked to create a username and password, which will be their new Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This new FSA ID will replace the current FSA PIN number that was previously used to access these websites, along with entering personal identifiers such as name, birth date, and Social Security number. Users do not need to do anything to prepare for it; when they first log on to one of the above sites on or after May 10, they will be asked to create a username and password. If they have a PIN number, they will have the option to link it to their new FSA ID, which will allow them to immediately use the ID on the above websites rather than wait for one to three days while their identifying information is confirmed.
For 2014-2015: The FAFSA will include two new tax return filing status questions for students and parents. This change will identify instances where the reported parent or student marital status is inconsistent with the IRS tax return filing status, ensuring the consistency and accuracy of financial information used to calculate the applicant's Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
For 2014-2015: The FAFSA will collect information from both of the dependent student's legal (biological and/or adoptive) parents if the parents live together, regardless of the marital status or gender of the parents. The FAFSA will now use the term "parent" instead of "mother" or "father." The goal of providing information on the FAFSA is to determine the family's financial strength. Therefore, if both legal parents live in the household (whether they are married or not), the FAFSA wants to know about both of them in order to get the full financial picture.
For 2014-2015: Consistent with the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, the 2014-15 FAFSA will include guidance explaining that the marriage includes both legal marriages of persons of the opposite sex and legal marriages of persons of the same sex in jurisdictions where this is allowed.