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FAFSA Changes for 2017–18

On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process that will impact millions of students. We want to inform you—our partners in the college access, planning, and funding process—about these changes and provide you with tools and information you can use.

Note: This announcement was originally posted on Sept. 14, 2015. The most recent update was made on May 19, 2016.

Changes for the 2017–18 FAFSA®
Resources for You and Your Students

Changes for the 2017–18 FAFSA®

The 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) season will begin earlier than previous FAFSA application cycles. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2016, your students will be able to fill out the FAFSA for the 2017–18 school year. (In the past, they had to wait until January 1). In addition, applicants will no longer need to estimate income and tax information and will be able to retrieve their data directly from the IRS, right from the first day the FAFSA is available. Students also will have information about their Expected Family Contributions earlier, helping them as they're going through the college application and selection process.

The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.

When a Student Is Attending College (School Year)
When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA
Which Year's Income and Tax Information Is Required
July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016 January 1, 2015–June 30, 2016 2014
July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017 January 1, 2016–June 30, 2017 2015
July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018 October 1, 2016–June 30, 2018 2015
July 1, 2018–June 30, 2019 October 1, 2017–June 30, 2019 2016

Resources for You and Your Students

To assist you and your students in learning about these changes, the U.S. Department of Education is preparing a number of informational pieces.

2017–18 Resources Available Now
2017–18 Resources Coming Soon

Browse the 2017–18 FAFSA resources that are available now.

These resources include the following and more:

  • Messaging and planning calendar
  • Talking points for communications to colleagues, parents, and students
  • Graphic illustrating the date changes for 2017–18
  • Fact sheets
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Web pages

Browse a list of upcoming 2017–18 FAFSA resources.

Upcoming resources include the following and more:

  • PDF FAFSA
  • FAFSA on the Web Worksheet
  • FAFSA demo site
  • Fact sheets
  • Videos
  • PowerPoint presentations

Also, explore this site to do the following:

We will continue to update this site as the 2017–18 FAFSA launch approaches. Keep an eye out throughout the rest of the spring and summer of 2016 for further resources.


May 19, 2016