Starting with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the following changes have been put in place:
You are now able to submit a FAFSA® earlier. The 2017–18 FAFSA has been available 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.)
You will 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. Be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to complete your 2017-18 FAFSA.
The following links provide a summary of key dates and other important information for the early FAFSA submission timeframe and reporting of earlier tax information: