University of Southern Indiana

Early FAFSA or Prior-Prior Year FAQ

What is Prior-Prior Year?
Prior-Prior Year is a term used to describe the ability to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at an earlier time frame, using earlier tax information.

What is changing for 2017-2018?
Starting with the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

  • The FAFSA will become available to complete on October 1.
  • Students/Parents will use earlier income and tax information that should already be available. For example, when completing the 2017-2018 FAFSA, you and your parents will use 2015 income and tax information.

Does this mean that the state of Indiana filing deadline will be changing?
Yes. The state of Indiana filing deadline for 2017-2018 has changed to April 15, 2017. The edit correction deadline has been eliminated.

How will these changes benefit me?
In the past, students often used estimated tax information to meet the state of Indiana filing deadline and then had to make the appropriate corrections once taxes had been filed. Now, because the FAFSA will be asking for older income and tax information, students and parents won’t need to estimate and may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer official tax information when they initially file the FAFSA.

Can I use 2016 income and tax information to file the 2017-2018 FAFSA?
No. You MUST report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, contact the Financial Aid Office about your family’s situation.

Note: The FAFSA asks for marital status as of the day the FAFSA is filed. So if the student or parent is married at the time of filing FAFSA, but wasn’t in 2015, they will need to add their spouse’s income to the FAFSA. Likewise, if the student or parent is divorced/separated now, but wasn’t in 2015, they will need to subtract their spouse’s income from FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will not be an option in these cases.

Will I receive aid offers earlier if I complete the FAFSA earlier?
USI hopes to begin packaging estimated awards for students in late November-early December. These awards are subject to change based on Federal and State funding.

Note: The Department of Education is not expected to have the official Pell Grant amounts and funding levels for SEOG and Work Study until February 2017. Early estimates will be based on current funding levels and will be adjusted once we receive official notification from the Department of Education.

Likewise, the State of Indiana is not expected to determine the official state awards until July 2017. Early estimates will be based on current amounts/early estimates provided by the state of Indiana.

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