5 Myths about the 2017-18 FAFSA Debunked
Posted By: Holly Scheller - 3/22/2017 12:00:00 AM

Don’t fall for these myths about federal student aid and the application process!

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college. Don't fall for these myths about financial aid and the application process.

MYTH 1:
I used 2015 tax information last year and didn’t get any aid, so it’s pointless to fill out the FAFSA again.

FACT: Not pointless! Your aid award could be different this year.
If you filed a 2016–17 FAFSA and received an award letter from your school, don’t assume that next year’s financial aid award will be the same. The Department of Education asks you to complete the FAFSA annually because the factors used to calculate your aid could change each year. Things like your year in school, family income, and cost of attendance at your school are just a few factors used to determine your aid. You never know what aid you may get if you don’t complete the FAFSA, so don’t let last year’s award deter you from potential aid you may receive this year. Even if you did not get the Federal Pell Grant last year, you could still be eligible for other types of aid this year. This includes work-study and low-interest loans.

MYTH 2:
I have to update my 2017–18 FAFSA with 2016 data after I file taxes.

FACT: Nope! You won’t need to update your FAFSA since you will be using your 2015 tax information.
Unlike the FAFSA in the past, you won’t have to use estimates or make updates after filing taxes. The 2017–18 FAFSA will ask for 2015 income and tax information which you should already have. Moving forward, the FAFSA will always ask for older tax information. For instance, the 2018–19 FAFSA will ask for 2016 income and tax info.

MYTH 3:
I can choose which year’s tax information I provide on the FAFSA.

FACT: No, you won’t be able to choose.
The FAFSA has always asked for one specific tax year to be reported. The 2017–18 FAFSA will ask for 2015 tax information, and that’s what you have to provide. You can’t choose to provide 2016 information if you feel it’ll benefit you in some way.

MYTH 4:
I can re-use my 2016–17 FAFSA since my 2015 income and tax information will be the same.

FACT: No, you still need to submit a renewal or a new 2017–18 FAFSA.
But, there’s a bonus this year! You will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to electronically import your 2015 taxes right away. If you’re eligible to use the IRS DRT, this will speed up your FAFSA completion process.

MYTH 5:
I can’t file my FAFSA because I haven’t applied to any schools.

FACT: You can still file as long as you list at least one school on your FAFSA.
It’s OK to complete your FAFSA before turning in college applications. On the FAFSA, add every school you’re considering, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet. If you’re on the fence about a particular school, add it anyway. Doing so will hold your place in line for financial aid in case you end up applying for that school. You can also add or remove schools to your FAFSA later.

The VC Financial Aid Office wants to provide you the financial support you need to afford your education and hopes these debunked myths were helpful! Please contact our office if you have more questions,

- See more at: http://www.vernoncollege.edu/Blog/5-Myths-about-the-2017-18-FAFSA-Debunked/20116#sthash.2LKQn06L.dpuf
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