The Financial Aid Office is housed in the Student Services Center located at 631 Frederica Street. The financial aid staff are committed to assisting you in meeting your desire to obtain and education and fulfill your dreams. There are many sources of financial assistance to ensure you can afford to receive a quality education, including scholarships, grants, work study, and loans. For help determining costs or finding and applying for financial assistance, contact our financial aid staff or visit the Student Services Center.
A number of helpful forms and resources can be found below:
What has changed?
Beginning with the 2017–2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), these changes were put into effect:
- You can submit your FAFSA earlier. You can now file your FAFSA as early as October 1st each year, rather than the prior date of January 1st. The earlier submission date is a permanent change.
- You will now use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–2018 FAFSA, students are now required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–2018 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—should report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information.
The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.
|When a Student is Attending College (School Year)||When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA||Which Year’s Income and Tax Information is Required?|
|July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017||January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017||2015|
|July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018||October 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018||2015|
|July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019||October 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019||2016|
How do the changes benefit me? Students benefit in these ways:
- Because the FAFSA asks for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you will not need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
- Because you will have already done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA. (Click here to learn more about the IRS DRT.)
- Because the FAFSA is available earlier, you may feel less pressure due to having more time to explore and understand your financial aid options and apply for aid before your state’s and school’s deadlines.
Are FAFSA deadlines earlier since the application launches earlier?
Most state and school deadlines have remained approximately the same. However, several states that offer first come, first served financial aid have changed their deadlines from “as soon as possible after January 1” to “as soon as possible after October 1.” It is important that you check your state and school deadlines so that you do not miss out on any aid. Click here to find state deadlines. School deadlines are available on the institution’s website.
Since the 2017–18 FAFSA asks for the same tax and income information as the 2016–17 FAFSA, will my 2016–17 FAFSA information automatically be carried over into my 2017–18 renewal FAFSA?
No; you will need to enter the information again to account for any changes. However, keep in mind that many people are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their tax information into the FAFSA, making the process of reporting tax information quick and easy.
Can I choose to report 2016 information if my family’s financial situation has changed since our 2015 taxes were filed?
You must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, talk to the financial aid office at your school about your family’s situation. Note: The FAFSA asks for marital status as of the day you fill it out. So if you’re married now but weren’t in 2015 (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), you’ll need to add your spouse’s income to your FAFSA. Similarly, if you filed your 2015 taxes as married but you’re no longer married when you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to subtract your spouse’s income.
Will I receive aid offers earlier if I apply earlier?
This will depend on the school you are applying for aid for. If you’re thinking of transferring to another school, click here to look at the College Scorecard to compare costs at different schools while you wait for your aid offers to arrive. Note: You should be aware that the maximum Federal Pell Grant for 2017–2018 will not be known until early 2017, so keep in mind that even if you do receive an aid offer early, it could change due to various factors.
How will I know what schools to list on the FAFSA if I haven’t decided which schools I’ll be applying to?
List any schools you are considering applying to, and we will send your FAFSA information to them. Later, if you decide to apply to additional schools that you did not list on the FAFSA, you can log back in and add those schools.
Where can I get more information about—and help with—the FAFSA?
For additional information to help you complete the FAFSA, click here. As you fill out your FAFSA there is a help text option for every question and during specific hours, you can chat online with a customer service representative.
Click here to view a video resource for creating an FSA ID.
Click here to view a video resource for retrieving IRS Data.