Monthly Features

You CAN’T use 2018 tax information when you file the FAFSA!!!

Every year about this time parents will say, “I’m going to wait to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) until after my 2018 taxes are done.” You can only file the FAFSA this year with 2017 federal tax figures, no exceptions. So get the FAFSA filed as soon as you can after it goes live on October 1.Don’t delay getting a college’s financial aid award letter once the student has been offered admission.

However, if 2018 tax figures are a lot different from 2017, you can ask a financial aid director to make what is called a “professional judgment” to consider unusual circumstances, financial or otherwise. Most colleges have a “special circumstances” form on their websites that you can use to make your request. The colleges can’t change your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that is produced upon FAFSA filing, but they can change the student’s financial aid award in light of the special circumstances involved. This decision is at the sole discretion of the financial aid director, and thus the decision can vary from one college to the next.


Publication Date: October 2018