In September, the Obama Administration decided to change aspects of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA).
Starting next year, students will be able to reference tax returns from two years ago.
In the past, the FAFSA has opened for applications far earlier in the year than when tax returns arrive, which determines students’ eligibility for aid. This backward process left students twiddling their thumbs while the IRS sorted through taxes.
The longer it takes for a student to accurately file the FAFSA, the less aid they receive; money is promised to those who apply first, limiting aid left for everybody else.
Now that FAFSA accepts taxes from two years ago, students will no longer be left scrambling to make corrections, and stressing about getting enough money to cover college expenses because of the timing of tax returns.
In addition, FAFSA will have an earlier application opening date: Oct. 1, 2016, rather than the previous opening date of Jan. 1.