The Department of Education (ED) on Thursday posted its second "Early FAFSA" Electronic Announcement, which discusses the move to prior-prior year income. This initiative to make the FAFSA available 3 months earlier than in the past is intended to help students and their families make more informed decisions and enable earlier, more effective, planning. To maximize the impact of Early FAFSA on choice, access, persistence and completion, ED is asking institutions to consider making 2017-18 award notifications earlier.
ED is still considering how to address cross-year conflicting information arising from use of the same financial data for 2016-17 (the last year to use prior year data) and for 2017-18. However, ED points out in the announcement that institutional burden can be minimized by urging applicants to use the IRS DRT for both years whenever possible, either when initially completing the FAFSA online or later by using the FAFSA online correction process.
ED is also announcing an "Early FAFSA" mailbox as a way for the community to contribute thoughts, ideas, and concerns that ED should consider for implementing the 2017-2018 Early FAFSA: [email protected].
Publication Date: 2/22/2016