Early FAFSA

Filing the 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

  • You will be able to submit your FAFSA earlier than prior years. You can file your 2018-19 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2017, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 every year.
  • You will use earlier income and tax information. With the 2018-19 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2018-19 FAFSA, you (and your parents, as appropriate) will report your 2016 income and tax information.

The following table provides a summary of key dates as the transition to using the Early FAFSA submission time frame and earlier tax information approaches.

If you plan to attend college from: You will submit
this FAFSA:
You can submit the FAFSA from: Using income and tax
information from:
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 2016-17 Jan. 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 2015
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018 2017-18 Oct. 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018 2015
July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 2018-19 Oct. 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019 2016

How will the changes benefit you?

  • The FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information. Since you will have already completed your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you will not need to estimate you tax information and then go back later to update.
  • Your taxes will be done by the time you file you FAFSA, so you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA. Learn more about the IRS DRT at www.studentaid.gov/irsdrt.
  • You will have more time to explore and understand your financial aid options.

Additional Information

  • The 2017-18 FAFSA asks for the same tax and income information as the 2016-17 FAFSA, however, your information will not be automatically carried over.
  • Please note, you may not receive aid offers earlier if you apply early. Various factors can change your aid offer.
  • For more information regarding Early FAFSA, please visit www.ifap.ed.gov/EarlyFAFSA/indexV1.html.