FAFSA to arrive sooner than before

Nicholas Adkins

Students are now able to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, as early as Oct. 1 for the 2017-2018 school year.

The change was made by President Barack Obama last September, and takes effect this year. In previous years, the FAFSA became available to students beginning Jan. 1.

According to a White House press release, the change was made so “more students can access the aid that can support them through college completion, and onwards to other personal and career goals.”

The Student Financial Aid Office is working around campus to spread the word as many students are still unaware of the changes.

“Any time there is change, you (have) to adjust,” said Mark Evans, director of Student Financial Aid.

According to the federal student aid website, the change would mean students and their families would use their 2015 tax return information to file their 2017-2018 FAFSA.

In the past, students would have to estimate their prior year tax return information or wait until they received their tax refund to be able to complete the FAFSA. This created a very busy January and February for students and their families.

Sylvia Bustard, associate director of Student Financial Aid, said students should take advantage of the new guidelines.

“The more time you have, the easier it is to make the process simple,” Bustard said. “There’s really no reason to wait anymore.”

The Student Financial Aid Office will hold informational sessions every Thursday from Oct. 13 through Nov. 4 to explain the new guidelines.

Nicholas Adkins is a student/finance jobs, contact him at [email protected].