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Early FAFSA Changes Begin on Oct. 1, 2016

What’s changing?
High school students planning to attend college in fall 2017 can begin applying for financial aid on Oct. 1. In addition, families will now use tax data from two years prior to complete the FAFSA. For the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will use their families' 2015 income and tax information.

How will this benefit your high school seniors?

Because the FAFSA is available earlier, students and their families can have more time to explore and understand their financial aid options before selecting a college. Also, because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, families will already have filed their taxes and won't need to estimate their tax information or go back into the FAFSA later to update it. In addition, more families will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their tax information into their FAFSA. Please encourage your seniors to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.

Students and Families Can Get Help Completing the FAFSA

Students and parents/guardians can register for FAFSA completion assistance by going to HESC's website dedicated to encouraging completion of the FAFSA.
*Sign up for a hands-on FAFSA workshop on the statewide calendar of FAFSA completion events.
*Chat online or speak with a HESC representative weekdays between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 800-808-1790.
*Get information on the financial aid application process.

For assistance with FAFSA completion events and financial aid presentations, schools can contact HESC at PreCollegeServices@hesc.ny.gov.

Reminders about the FSA ID
An FSA ID gives students and their families access to federal student financial aid systems, and can also serve as their legal signature.
The FSA ID is needed by students and their parents or guardians to electronically sign and submit the FAFSA. Students taking federal student loans will also need their FSA ID to sign for their loans (the Master Promissory Note).

Remember: Students and parents can get an FSA ID while filling out the FAFSA; however, getting it ahead of time will make the entire process smoother.

1. An FSA ID may only be created using your own personal information and is for the exclusive use of the student or parent. An FSA ID cannot be created by any individual on behalf of someone else, including a family member.
2. An FSA ID must not be shared with anyone. Students should not share them with anyone, even if they are receiving help in filling out their FAFSAs.
3. If you've forgotten your FSA ID, you can retrieve it by going to StudentAid.gov/login, verifying your email address and answering the challenge questions you established when first creating your FSA ID.
4. The information on record with the Social Security Administration must be correct or corrected before getting an FSA ID. Students and parents can contact the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov to learn how to correct any errors.


Thursday, July 19, 2018