A few years ago, the whole financial aid system was changed to allow families to submit financial aid forms to colleges even earlier, and with their most updated filed taxes.
So we are now submitting financial aid paperwork a year in advance, but with filed tax numbers for 2 years prior to that school year for which you apply. Who can keep track of that?
You are not alone if you’re confused by what financial aid paperwork to submit for the current ‘aid year’. The good news is, this system was set up to actually help families complete the financial aid process more efficiently. Feeling better yet?
For those of us that are visual learners, I have included a chart below for your reference:
What most families don’t know is that the current financial aid-year, meaning the current year for which funds are disbursed (and the year for which you will submit paperwork) begins on July 1st and ends the following calendar year on June 30th. This was set up and is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education (this is the department that also controls the FAFSA).
What’s great about the new system is that it allows plenty of extra filing time for those that may be procrastinators when it comes to financial aid paperwork, and it also leaves less room for confusion when it comes to figuring the income numbers to report.
However, beware that many colleges have their own deadlines, and may require additional tax or income information from your family. Always be sure to check the individual college website for further details!