What You Need to Know
What You Need to Know
Applying for financial aid is one of the most misunderstood – yet important - parts of the college process.
With changes coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it’s doubly important to understand the steps you must take to secure funds for college.
Starting 17-18 school year:
- Students will be able to file for aid beginning Oct. 1, 2016 – a full three months earlier than previous years.
- And for the first time, applicants will use prior-prior year (PPY) tax information when reporting personal and family income. The 17-18 FAFSA uses 2015 tax data.
Familiarize yourself with the frequently asked questions below and discuss the new financial aid process with your college representatives
Remember: Completing the FAFSA is essential for securing most types of financial aid for college. In addition to federal grants and loans, many colleges, states, and scholarship programs use the form to assess eligibility for their aid programs.
What do I need to do?
To make sure you are in the running for financial aid:
- If you completed the FAFSA for the 2016-2017 year and didn’t use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, you may be required to submit a copy of your signed 2015 Federal Tax Return(s) and W-2(s) if selected for verification.
- Complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA using 2015 tax information You may be required to submit a copy of your signed 2015 Federal Tax Return(s) and W-2(s) if selected for verification.
- File your FAFSA as soon as possible.
When should I complete the FAFSA?
File the FAFSA as soon as you are able. The federal government awards roughly $150 billion annually to college students through need-based grants, loans, and work study funds. In addition to determining your eligibility for federal student aid, many colleges and states use the FASFA when distributing grants. Money is limited in some instances, so don’t delay. If you file your application late, you run the risk of finding out that certain funds – such as work study awards – are already gone.
When will I learn my financial aid eligibility?
Buena Vista University will begin sending 2017-2018 financial aid awards as early as Nov. 1, 2016 and continue until everyone is awarded.