Two major changes for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are affecting the 2017-18 school year application season.
- The FAFSA is available earlier, starting on Oct. 1 of the previous year instead of Jan. 1 of the upcoming school year.
- The FAFSA collects income information from an earlier tax year -- prior prior year (PPY).
These changes can help colleges better assist students in the financial aid process and potentially achieve higher matriculation in the fall. “Summer melt,” wherein college-intending students fail to matriculate in the fall, is a double loss, hurting both the students whose college dreams fall by the wayside, and the schools that were counting on them to attend. Often, cost is the culprit.