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. Starting with the 2017–18 FAFSA, the following changes will be in effect:
- Students will be able to submit their FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change.
- Students can use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students—and their parent(s), as appropriate—will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than their 2016 income and tax information.
The following table provides a summary of key dates as the FAFSA transitions to using the early submission time frame and earlier tax information:
|If a student plans to attend college from:||They will submit this FAFSA:||The FAFSA is available from:||Using income and tax info from:|
|July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017||2016-17||January 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017||2015|
|July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018||2017-18||October 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018||2015|
|July 1, 2018 - June 30 2019||2018-19||October 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019||2016|
What about FAFSA completion in Utah?
Utah continues to be last in the nation for percent of eligible student FAFSA completion. In 2014-15, 70% of eligible Utah high school graduates did not complete a FAFSA, the highest among all states.
This year, Utah’s FAFSA completions increased 5.5%. This number could have increased due to Utah joining the FAFSA Collective Impact Initiative last year, which enables the tracking of individual student’s FAFSA completion in Utah school districts. And for the first time this year, the Utah System of Higher Education was able to send out thousands of e-mails to Utahns who filed a FAFSA last year, reminding them to renew their FAFSA if they are still in college.
USHE also hosted over 73 FAFSA completion open houses throughout the state to assist students and their parents as they file their FAFSA.