October 05, 2016

SEDALIA—Effective this month, the U.S. Department of Education has made changes to how and when families can file the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the first step to applying for financial aid when planning to attend college.

Students are now able to submit the FAFSA much earlier. Instead of beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, filing for the 2017-2018 FAFSA opened Oct. 1. To be considered for state aid, the FAFSA should be filed by Feb. 1. Students are encouraged to file early.

Families will use two years prior income and tax information to complete the application. For example, beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than 2016 information.

Because the FAFSA asks for two years prior income and tax information, applicants’ tax returns for 2015 should already have been processed, and they may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import tax information into the FAFSA.

“The changes in filing the FAFSA are significant improvements for students,” said Lana DeJaynes, SFCC’s Financial Aid director. “Because the FAFSA is available now, students will have more time to explore and understand their financial aid options.”

Completing the FAFSA also is required to apply for state aid, loans, grants, and scholarships offered by SFCC said DeJaynes.

“Students planning to attend college next year (fall 2017) can complete the FAFSA now by going to fafsa.ed.gov. Anyone who wants assistance is invited to attend our FAFSA Frenzy event from 3-7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Proctor Library in the Yeater Learning Center on the Sedalia campus, or contact our office at (660) 530-5834 or finaid@sfccmo.edu.”

Additional information also is available at StudentAid.gov/fafsa. 

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