All students preparing to attend college should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Several significant changes go into effect this year:
- Students will be able to submit a FAFSA earlier. Students will be able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
- Students will use earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students and parents will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.
Make sure you complete the FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Do not use a .com or other website that asks you for credit card information or charges a fee just to submit your FAFSA.
Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites, including the FAFSA.
Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.
Click here to obtain your FSA ID: https://fsaid.ed.gov/
When should you get an FSA ID?
Getting an FSA ID before begin the FAFSA could prevent processing delays. If you don’t have an FSA ID by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you will be prompted to apply for one at that time.
You may have to allow 1-3 days for the Social Security Administration to verify your information, therefore plan to apply for an FSA ID first, before starting the FAFSA.