Beginning in 2016, the FAFSA is being made available three months earlier, meaning college students are able to file their FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016 for the following academic year.

In other words, students can file their FAFSA for the 2017-2018 academic year as of October 1, 2016, instead of being required to wait until January 1, 2017. The earlier filing date gives students more time to compare financial aid packages, visit colleges and talk with their families about which college is the best college fit for them.

This earlier filing date is possible thanks to new Prior-Prior Year tax information requirements.

What is Prior-Prior Year?
Prior-Prior Year refers to the tax year information required to file the FAFSA. As of this year, tax information submitted with the FAFSA can be tax information from two years prior to the year for which the student is applying for financial aid – hence the name Prior-Prior Year.

For example, students filing the FAFSA to receive financial aid for the 2017-2018 academic year will submit tax information for 2015.

The table below outlines filing dates for the next three years.
FAFSA Filing Dates

*U.S. Department of Education

Students can also save a great deal of time entering the tax information by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA to have the necessary tax information automatically entered. Just follow the simple directions on the FAFSA for how to use the DRT.

Checklist to Ensure Maximum Financial Aid
Confirm FAFSA Deadline for Each College
Students should remember to check with the colleges they are applying to regarding their FAFSA deadline. Cazenovia College gives priority to those students who submit their FAFSA by February 1st.

Obtain FSA ID
Students, parents or guardians will need to have an FSA ID before starting the FAFSA in order to electronically sign their FAFSA. To sign up for an FSA ID, go to studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid.

Submit College Application
Colleges and universities do not award financial aid packages until a student has been accepted. Students should be sure to complete their admissions applications with all the colleges they are interested in attending so they can receive their financial aid packages.

Research Additional Opportunities
Research additional scholarship opportunities in your local community, with an employer, using free internet web searches, etc.

More information about the FAFSA may be found at www.fafsa.gov.

If you have any questions about the admissions or financial aid process at Cazenovia College, please call us at 1-800-654-3210 or email one of our admissions counselors. We are here to help!