New Oct. 1 FAFSA deadline provides earlier opportunities for student financial aid

By Abigail-Lauren Meredith, News Editor –

FASFSA Frenzy Fridays are MCC’s way to help students navigate the always confusing

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), especially this year with a new Oct. 1 early

application process.

Walkin support started Oct. 21 and continues on alternate Fridays in Room L261until

further notice.

This change was due in part to new option for filling the FAFSA, called “early FAFSA.”

Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are being accepted as of Oct. 1 and will use

the previous two years’ tax returns for proof of income. That means that next year, FAFSA

applications will use a household tax returns for 2015.

In previous years, FAFSA applications could not be filed until after Jan. 1 and required

the previous year’s tax records, which often hadn’t been completed at that point.

Students and their parents will be able to directly input their tax information from the

IRS, making the process much easier than in the past.

This new FAFSA timeline is crucial for students because much of the aid they are

eligible for is given out on a first-come, first-serve basis due to limited funds.

Programs with limited funds include Federal Work Study, Supplemental Educational

Opportunity Grant, and Federal Perkins Loans.

This is a transition year for the FAFSA. This time only, current college students who

filed the 2016-17 FAFSA also will use the 2015 tax information for their 2017-2018 FAFSA.

Starting with 2018-2019, the FAFSA will be available at the beginning of each October

and will use the previous year’s tax information.

For students and families whose financial situation in 2016 or 2017 is different than it

was in 2016, additional information can be sent to the financial aid office of the school they are

attending to see what options are available.

Students with questions should contact the financial aid office.

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