The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2018–19 will be open on Oct. 1. Students normally have to wait until after Jan. 1 to file the FAFSA for the upcoming fall semester, however, new regulations will allow students to file as early as Oct. 1 of each year to allow more time for financial aid processing.
When you file after Oct. 1, the form will ask you for your 2016 tax information. Since those taxes should have been completed by April 15, you will have the ability to use the IRS data retrieval tool, which is accessible through the FAFSA. This is a process in which you can electronically “link” tax data directly from the IRS right into the FAFSA form. This will alleviate possible data entry errors when manually submitting the figures from the tax forms yourself. The other benefit will be the lack of further corrections needing to be made by the students to update tax information once filed. The hope is that once a student files in October and links the tax data, the form will be correct and no further changes will need to be made.
The financial aid office at Shippensburg University urges all students to file the FAFSA before leaving for Christmas/winter break in between the fall and spring semesters. This will allow you to have a stress-free break and a more confident spring knowing your FAFSA is filed. By completing the form early, you will also meet Pennsylvania’s May 1 state grant deadline.
Students who are selected for verification would have the entire spring semester to complete the verification process in order for your file to be reviewed. This way, you can receive an aid package in late May/early June and know what aid you will be receiving prior to the fall semester bills coming out in July.
Please feel free to make an appointment* with the financial aid office after Oct. 1 if you need assistance in completing your 2018–19 FAFSA. You must have you and your parent’s FSA IDs and passwords to complete the form successfully.
Please contact us at (717) 477-1131 or email@example.com with any questions.
*Please make appointments using the Student Success Collaborative (SSC portal).