Prior-Prior Year and Early FAFSA for 2017-18 — Your All-In-One Guide

Melissa Maichle ., Federal Student Aid Programs, Financial Aid Industry News, General Issues in Financial Aid

We are approaching the milestone anniversary of President Obama announcing the significant changes coming to the 2017-18 FAFSA form.  The revisions were announced on September 14th, 2015 and are about to become reality for aid offices all over the world which are approved for Title IV funding.  Ready or not, new FAFSA data is about to start rolling in.  early-fafsa

The main reason the deadline was moved up is to circumvent the issue families had in having to wait for a tax return to be done in order to file the FAFSA.  With schools having deadlines for Admissions decisions much earlier than the mid-April tax deadline, this proved to be an issue for families that wanted an accurate financial aid award instead of using estimates.

On October 1st, 2016, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for 2017-18 will officially be live.   Thankfully, there are many resources out there at your disposal so if you are new to the terminology or still deciding on high level decisions at your campus, much of the information below can assist you with the coming changes.  In this article, we give tips and links for not only financial aid professionals but students/parents as well.

Helpful links for financial aid professionals:


2017-18 FAQ for new FAFSA process

The New Normal for Financial Aid Workshops

Early FAFSA Video from NASFAA 

Prepping for Prior-Prior Year, A Guide to Principles and Practices

Prior-Prior Year “Tool Kit”

It’s Here, Early FAFSA From a Community College Perspective

A Guide to the Most Asked Questions Impacting the 2017-18 FAFSA (PDF)

Helpful links for families and other professionals:


President Obama Fact Sheet

College Students & Parents, what you need to know

Understanding Prior-Prior Year and What It Means for You

The 2017-18 FAFSA, What School Counselors Need to Know

What You Need to Know About FAFSA Changes from US News & World Report

Prepping Admissions Offices for Prior-Prior Year (VIDEO)


The following table provides a summary of key dates as the transition occurs to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.


Click to view larger size


Need help implementing policies or procedures as it relates to the new FAFSA deadlines?  How about training staff on what it will mean for your systems?  Or perhaps interim staffing to support you through what will in no doubt be a busier season processing PPY data and advising students and their families?  HEAG is here to assist you, please email Colleen King, Executive Director, at