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The 2017-18 FAFSA is Open

The 2017-18 FAFSA is Open

The new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available and introduces a few big changes.

One of the immediately apparent changes is the early October 1 open date – the FAFSA was made available three months earlier than usual. Some states and local grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so this new open date can have a major impact on those who complete early.

Another big change is the use of “prior-prior year” tax information. Though you’ll be completing the FAFSA for the 2017-18 academic year, you’ll use your financial information from your 2015 federal tax return – and you won’t have to update the form next spring when you file your 2016 return. This should make the FAFSA completion process less tedious for families.

To maximize your chance at financial aid, experts encourage parents to complete the FAFSA early. For the fastest possible experience, complete the FAFSA online. Submission is immediate, while mailed-in forms can take several weeks to arrive and process.

For a list of changes to this year’s FAFSA and tips on completing the document, see the article below.

FAFSA changes: What you need to know (CNN Money) FAFSA FAQs FAFSA online

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