We want to make you aware of several upcoming changes to the financial aid application process and some actions you can take now to make the process smoother and easier for next year.
On September 13, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order that will allow families to complete the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using income information from the 2015 federal tax return, the same income information that you and your parent(s) reported when filing the 2016-17 FAFSA. As result, the 2017-18 FAFSA may be filed as early as October 1, 2016. This new feature will allow students and parents to report final, accurate income information on the FAFSA as the vast majority of families will have already completed their 2015 taxes by October 2016.
Now that the 2015 federal tax return filing deadline has passed, it is time to update your 2016-17 FAFSA information with final 2015 income data. In order to avoid any discrepancies between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, we strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to update your 2016-17 FAFSA income information. The IRS DRT is available through the FAFSA website and saves time and effort in the following ways:
- No need to locate your tax return records;
- No need worry about making mistakes entering your tax return information on your FAFSA;
- If you use the IRS DRT and do not change any of the retrieved information in your FAFSA;
- You won’t need to provide tax transcripts to the financial aid office if you’re selected for federal verification; and
- If you use the IRS DRT for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, it will reduce the chances of questions from the financial aid office or the Department of Education regarding conflicting information from your FAFSA records.
If you need help with using the IRS DRT, here is a helpful video tutorial that clearly explains the process. Or as always, stop by or contact the financial aid office. Also, for more information about the 2017-18 FAFSA check out this short video.
Thank you for updating your 2016-17 FAFSA information and don't forget to file your 2017-18 FAFSA beginning October 1.
Financial Aid Office