Edvisors Helps with Major Changes in the 2017-2018 FAFSA
"The new timeline for filing the FAFSA comes with significant impacts. For example, by moving the FAFSA submission date 3 months earlier, the financial aid and admission timelines will be more aligned for students planning to attend college in the 2017-18 academic year. Additionally, some colleges may supply families with financial aid offers (which now typically arrive in March or April) earlier in the student's high school senior year," says David Levy, Editor of Edvisors. "As a result, families will have more time to review and compare award packages before deciding on which school to attend."
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• The FAFSA filing season is starting three months earlier, on October 1, 2016 instead of January 1, 2017. The 2017-18 FAFSA has switched from prior-year income and tax data to prior-prior year data from the 2015 federal income tax returns. This allows more families to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to complete the FAFSA. This will reduce the number of FAFSAs selected for verification. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will become available on October 1, 2016 as well, instead of the first Sunday in February.
• Medicaid has been added to the list of means-tested federal benefit programs that can trigger eligibility for the Simplified Needs Test and Auto-Zero EFC. Simplified Needs causes all assets to be ignored on the FAFSA. Auto-Zero EFC sets the applicant's EFC to zero. The income thresholds remain unchanged at $50,000 for Simplified Needs and $25,000 for Auto-Zero EFC.
• The colors for the paper and PDF versions of the 2017-18 FAFSA are green for student information and purple for parent information.
• The mailing addresses for the paper FAFSA, FAFSA signature pages and SARs have changed. Spanish forms are now sent to the same address as English forms.
• There have been many wording changes on the FAFSA, to help clarify the questions.
Edvisors publishes free web sites to help students and families plan and pay for college. Every year, millions of students and their families turn to the company's flagship site, Edvisors.com, for timely, accurate information, advice and tools that help them confidently make the best decisions about paying for college. Additionally, Edvisors owns ScholarshipPoints.com, where students earn points and enter scholarship drawings (the site has awarded more than $750,000 to date); StudentScholarshipSearch.com, a large free online database of scholarships with an easy-to-use scholarship matching tool; and PrivateStudentLoans.com, which helps students find private loans that are right for them. Founded in 1998, Edvisors is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. More information can be found at www.edvisors.com.
David Levy, Editor