Good news for families who plan on filling out the FAFSA to help pay for college: Starting this October 1, you can file earlier than ever before.
What the new FAFSA date means
On Oct. 1, you can officially submit your FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year.
In years past, families had to wait until Jan. 1 to apply. This new date aims to give you a clear picture of how much aid you qualify for — before you and your family decides which school to attend — so you have more time evaluate your options.
Why you should remember this new FAFSA filing date
FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is necessary to be considered for federal grants, loans and work-study funds administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Many colleges distribute financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis, so the longer you wait, the lower your chances of receiving assistance.
What you’ll need to file
If this isn’t your senior year yet, don’t worry: The FAFSA is something you should know about, but you won’t need to fill it out just yet.
But if you are in the Class of 2017, make sure your parents have their 2015 tax documents before you start working on the FAFSA — you’ll need them.
Athletes and families who use NCSA receive a complimentary membership with our partner Smart Track, which provides College Planning Report and tools to help you understand the cost of college.
The best way to get started is by building a recruiting profile.