In September 2015, President Obama announced a new initiative to simplify the financial aid application process for students and families. Historically, students have been able to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning January 1, using information from the previous tax year. However, beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, applicants will be required to report income and tax information from two years prior when completing the FAFSA. Additionally, the FAFSA will be available beginning October 1 of every year, three months earlier than the previous availability date of January 1.
The use of tax information from two years prior, commonly referred to as prior-prior year (PPY), has also been adopted by the CollegeBoard, for applicants who will be completing the CSS Profile.
The table below provides a summary of these changes:
|Academic Year||Required Tax Year Information||FAFSA Available||CSS Profile Available|
|2016-2017||2015||January 1, 2016||October 1, 2015|
|2017-2018||2015||October 1, 2016||October 1, 2016|
|2018-2019||2016||October 1, 2017||October 1, 2017|
|Student Type||Required Application(s)||Priority Filing Deadline|
|First-Year Applicants||FAFSA and CSS Profile||Early Decision: Complete the CSS Profile by November 15 and FAFSA by February 15
Early Action: Complete the CSS Profile by December 1 and FAFSA by February 15
Regular Decision: Complete the CSS Profile and FAFSA by February 15
|Fall Transfer Applicants||FAFSA and CSS Profile||May 1|
|Spring Transfer Applicants||FAFSA and CSS Profile||October 15|
|Returning Students||FAFSA||April 1|
*Students seeking federal student aid only are not required to complete the College Scholarship Service’s (CSS) Profile Form.
*These changes will not affect the current 2016-2017 academic year and will be effective as of the 2017-2018 academic year.
**The CSS Profile is required for first-year, Undergraduate Day applicants only who wish to be considered for need-based institutional aid. Returning Undergraduate Day students who are renewing their financial aid are required to complete the FAFSA only.