Upcoming FAFSA Changes
FAFSA Changes Effective in 2016
If you or your child has gone to college, chances are you’ve filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA. Changes to this form announced by the Obama administration in 2015 are about to go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.
One of the biggest changes to the application is how soon you can fill it out. You can submit the form for the 2017-2018 school year beginning Oct. 1, 2016. This is several months sooner than in previous years. With the filing deadline remaining June 30, 2017, it will give you more time to fill out the form, explore your financial aid options, and meet state and school deadlines for aid. Remember, Kentucky is a first-come, first-served state when it comes to financial aid awards. You will want to get your FAFSA in as soon as possible if you plan on receiving state aid. Once the money is gone, no other awards will be given.
A second major change is that you now will submit older tax data to the FAFSA. In previous years, college-bound students and their families have had to estimate their income on the FAFSA and update it once they file their taxes. This change does away with the estimation and updating. For the 2017-2018 year, you will submit your 2015 income and taxes. Since these taxes have already been filed, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically place your 2015 tax information into your FAFSA.
The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority has great information for college-bound individuals and links to useful tools like the FAFSA4caster, which can give you an estimate of your net cost for college now. Visit their website for more information.
Oldham County Community Scholarships is a local non-profit organization that provides financial aid to Oldham County students. Community members and businesses contribute to these scholarships. Since 2004, Oldham County Community Scholarships has awarded more than $800,000 to high school students pursuing college. For more information, visit the organization online at www.occs-ky.org.
Extension offices often offer financial education programs for people of all ages. The Oldham County Extension Homemakers, for example, offer two $700 scholarships each year. Oldham County Homemakers, their children, and their grandchildren are eligible to apply. These scholarships can be used for any educational purpose. For more information, contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service at (502) 222-9453.
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.