FAFSA for 2017-2018 Will be Available Earlier!

IMPORTANT CHANGES WITH THE FAFSA APPLICATION FOR 2017–2018

First change: Students will be able to submit their FAFSAs to STU earlier than in past years.


  • Students can file their 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than in January.
  • The earlier that students apply, the earlier the indication of how much students and their families will be expected to contribute, which will help families with budgeting for the upcoming school year.
  • This earlier submission date will become a permanent change, enabling all students to complete and submit a FAFSA to STU as early as October 1 of each year.
  • Students will not be required to update tax information once they file as in previous years.

Second change: Students and parents may use earlier income and tax information.


  • Starting with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students and parents will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year.
  • This change will make the FAFSA easier because you’ll already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you may be able to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA
  • 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 THESE CHANGES BENEFIT YOU AND YOUR PARENTS

  • Since 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.
  • Since 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.
  • Since the FAFSA will be available earlier, students and parents will likely feel less pressure due to having more time to explore and understand their financial aid options and apply for aid before your state’s and school’s deadlines.

Use the following chart to determine which Tax information to use!

IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND COLLEGE FROM YOU WILL SUBMIT THIS FAFSA YOU CAN SUBMIT THE FAFSA FROM USING INCOME AND TAX INFORMATION FROM
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 2015-2016 January 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 2014
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 2016-2017 January 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 2015
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018 2017 - 2018 October 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018 2015
July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 2018 - 2019 October 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019 2016

PRIORITY FILING DATE INFORMATION – MARCH 1

  • New Early Fall/Fall 2017 admits who file by December 1 could be awarded by January!
  • STU awards priority financial aid to those who submit the FAFSA by March 1.
  • However, STU encourages students to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1.