Students who want to be considered for federal student aid must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for each school year they plan to attend. For the 2019-20 academic year, students can begin filing their 2019-20 FAFSA on October 1, 2018.
Benefits of early FAFSA filing
- Allows eligible students early access to types of aid that are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Provides more time for students and their families to compile and submit certain documents if requested by their school.
- Allows students to view their financial aid awards earlier so they and their families can make timely decisions about budgeting for school.
Use of Earlier Income and Tax Information
The 2019-2020 FAFSA will require tax information from TWO YEARS PRIOR to the start of the year. This should give students easier access to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA, and additional time to complete the FAFSA without having to wait for taxes to be filed.
See the chart below for filing help:
|If you plan to attend
|You will submit
|You can submit
the FAFSA beginning
|Using income and tax
|July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019||2018-19||October 1, 2017||2016|
|July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020||2019-20||October 1, 2018||2017|
|July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021||2020-21||October 1, 2019||2018|
We have put together commonly asked questions about the FAFSA changes to help you navigate through this process. If there is a question you have that we haven't answered, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Frequently Asked Questions
October 1 of the year prior to starting (example: October 1, 2018 for the 2019-2020 academic year)
The taxes should be from two years prior to the start of the academic year:
- Academic Year: 2018-2019 Taxes: 2016
- Academic year: 2019-2020 Taxes: 2017
- Academic year: 2020-2021 Taxes: 2018
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a linking option in the FAFSA that will allow you to pull your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA. This helps eliminate errors and makes completing the FAFSA much faster and easier. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool doesn't work for everyone, so if you've filed foreign tax returns, amended returns, or were victims of identity theft, it won't work for you and you will have to enter your tax information manually.
Complete the FAFSA using the information as requested. Once completed, notify our office of the changes in earnings and we will review your FAFSA to see if the changes could impact your eligibility and talk about next steps. We will make any appropriate changes to your FAFSA based on information you provide us.
You will need your SSN, tax information as listed above, current bank statements like checking and savings, W-2's, and your FSA ID and password. If you are a dependent student, you will need all the same information for your parent(s).
An FSA ID acts as your electronic signature and is linked to your email address. A student and at least one parent (for dependent students) will need an FSA ID, and it can be set up at any time. The FSA ID website is https://fsaid.ed.gov
Complete the FAFSA using the information as requested on the form, then notify our office of your specific situations for instructions and next steps.