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2017 2018 Early FAFSA Information

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can begin filing next year's financial aid applications, the 2017–18 FAFSA and 2017–18 New York State TAP Application, as of October 1, 2016. This is called the "Early FAFSA."
  • The 2017–18 FAFSA and 2017–18 New York State TAP application use income information from two years prior, which is 2015. This means you or your parents do not need to wait to file your 2016 tax return to file the 2017–18 FAFSA or TAP application. Please note that you must use 2015 income information on the 2017–18 FAFSA and TAP applications.
  • Less stress: You can begin filing your FAFSA and New York State TAP application three months earlier than before.
  • Less waiting: You do not need to wait for your or your parents’ 2016 income information to file, nor do you need to use estimated income on the FAFSA or New York State TAP application.
  • More accurate information on your application: Many students will be able to electronically import income tax return information directly from the IRS into their FAFSA application using the IRS Data Retrieval tool for FAFSA on the Web. This is the most efficient and accurate way of providing income tax information on the FAFSA and is recommended by the U.S. Department of Education.

Not necessarily. Pell Grant amounts are not determined by the U.S. Congress until 2017, and TAP award amounts are subject to the passing of the annual New York State fiscal budget by the New York State legislature, which also does not occur until 2017. Typically, financial aid award information for the new financial aid year generally becomes available in April. The purpose of Early FAFSA is to provide students and/or their families more time to apply and in a more convenient manner.

The earlier you file the less pressure you and your family will feel during the application process. Also, your financial aid will be available in CUNYfirst at the earliest possible time, which means less waiting in the long run.

What if my income or my family's income has changed?
If you or your family have experienced significant changes in your income between 2015 and 2016 that affect your eligibility for financial aid, we recommend that you speak to one of our financial aid advisors as soon as possible.
What if I need more help?
In an effort to make certain that all aid filers better understand the Early FAFSA, the U.S Department of Education has developed a FAFSA changes webpage and the Early FAFSA Fact Sheet.


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