FAFSA file date bumped up to Oct. 1

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has made a change to filing dates.  You can file your 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than January 1, 2017.  The October 1 submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.  Here's what you need to know.

  1. Submit your FAFSA earlier:

You can file your 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than January 1, 2017.  This will be a permanent change that enables you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 each year.

  1. SPSCC’s priority filing date has not changed:

The SPSCC’s priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 17, 2017.  So, for the 2017-2018 FAFSA, your FAFSA should be received at the federal processor by March 17, 2017 for priority consideration of all of our aid programs.

  1. Use earlier income and tax information:

From now on, students and families will not need to estimate tax data to complete the FAFSA.  The FAFSA will ask for the last completed tax year, which is 2015 for the 2017-18 application.

Whenever possible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your and your parent’s (if applicable) income information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA.  It’s easier to complete the FAFSA this way and results in a more accurate financial aid award.  See the Financial Aid page for details on how to apply.

Note to 2016-2017 FAFSA filers:  If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when you completed your 2016-17 FAFSA, we recommend you update your 2016-17 FAFSA using the DRT first.  After you complete the update, you should then file the 2017-18 FAFSA using the DRT process.  This will allow your FAFSA from both years will use the same 2015 income data and information will be more accurate.  This will minimize any communications from our office regarding conflicting data that needs to be resolved between the two school years.  This additional step is recommended as a way to transition to using income from two years ago (the new FAFSA base year) and won’t be required in future years.  Using the DRT as you apply each year will simplify the process for you.

HB 1079 Real Hope/DACA Students:

For 2017-18 school year, complete the WASFA from by the SPSCC’s priority filing date of March 17, 2017 to be considered for state and institutional need-based aid.  The WASFA form will be available starting October 1, 2016.

HB 1079 students who have Social Security numbers have the option of completing the FAFSA instead.  It is not necessary to complete both the FAFSA and the WASFA; however, you must notify the financial aid office if you decide to complete only the FAFSA.  Learn more about paying for college for HB 1079 Real Hope/DACA students.