FAFSA updates timeline for ’17-’18 applications


Photo by Zach Tennant

An AACC student reads the Federal Student Aid handbook to learn about the new FAFSA deadline.

Jacob Baumgart, Reporter

Students may submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting on Oct. 1.

Deadlines for the Free Application for Federal Stu dent Aid (FAFSA) changed Oct. 1, but AACC students on financial assistance may not be aware of the update.

Students may file their FAFSAs as early as Oct. 1 if they plan to enroll in classes next year, and they will submit their 2015 tax returns as part of their applications.

Under the old rules, students had to wait until Jan. 1 to submit their financial aid applications. For the 2017-18 school year, they would have had to submit their 2016 tax returns.

The previous process created a tight window because the tax filing deadline is not until April 15.

AACC Financial Aid Director Richard Heath called the adjustment “a huge advantage for students,” as they now can finish their applications sooner and receive financial aid offers from colleges earlier. This allows more room for error and time for students to compare aid bids before the March 1 submission deadline, according to Heath.

“Students have historically missed deadlines because parents don’t have information [gathered] early enough.” Heath said.

AACC students on financial aid told Campus Current in September they were unaware of the change. Online student Jaime Reichnach said she did not know of the changes but welcomed them. She said financial aid complications left her without money from AACC when she transferred here last year.

Jake Ellwood, a nursing student, said he uses financial aid, but did not know about the change.

Colin McGee, said he hopes to transfer to a four year school and plans to use financial aid as well.

Freshman Steve Fauconnet agreed, saying the earlier aid feedback will ease the process of applying to college.