2017 FAFSA Changes: What’s New and What You Need to Know

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 1/5/17 8:30 AM

Ah, the FAFSA—that time-honored tradition of getting a crash course in your parents’ tax

information from two years ago. (But hey, it helps you keep college affordable, so it’s worth

poring over the details of IRS deductions and withholdings.) 

We’ve written a lot about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including filing tips for parents, six things you’ll need to finish the FAFSA, and a first-timer’s guide to filling it out.

However, in 2017, the Department of Education is making a few changes to how the FAFSA works that are important to note, especially for first-time filers.

You can now submit earlier 

In the past, you had to wait until January 1 to file your FAFSA, but that’s no longer the case. If you’re filing for the 2017–18 school year, you can file now—submissions opened on October 1.

The new, earlier submission date is permanent, so you’ll be able to file your FAFSA beginning October 1 from here on out.

You will now be asked for income information from earlier years 

If you filed your FAFSA for the 2016–17 school year, you would have been asked for income information from 2015 only. That’s changed, however. The new FAFSA will ask for income information for two previous years.

So, if you’re filing for 2017–18, you’ll need to provide income and tax information for 2016 and 2015.

The FAFSA website has a great chart to help breakdown this information. They also provide a fact sheet for parents and students about the 2017–18 changes.

If you’re filling out the FAFSA for the first time, be sure to download our FAFSA Checklist so you can be better prepared for what to expect.

Get the guide: FAFSA Checklist

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Topics: Financial Aid, FAFSA Help

Your College Application Checklist for December 2016

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 12/1/16 8:30 AM

 If you’re all caught up on your November checklist for college applications, it’s time to keep moving in the month of December. 

(We know it’s tempting to take a break over the holidays, but you’ll be glad you kept on top of things once January rolls around.) 

For High School Juniors

  • Keep doing your best in your classes
  • Look for ways to get involved in clubs, organizations, or volunteer work
  • Take the PSAT Exams (if you haven’t already)
  • Continue researching colleges and universities
    • List the important priorities for you
    • Talk to your school counselor
    • Reach out to your colleges’ admissions teams
    • Attend college fairs and meet with the admissions reps
    • Follow schools on social media

For High School Seniors

  • Check your list of deadlines from November, including:
    • Application deadlines
    • Scholarship deadlines
    • Financial aid deadlines
    • Recommendation letter deadlines
  • Check your Common App deadlines (if you’re using Common App)
  • Retake the SAT/ACT (if necessary, and if you didn’t in November). Remember: schools allow you to apply with your best scores from each section of the test, so taking the SAT/ACT multiple times can help improve your chances of getting into college
  • Research and apply for at least two scholarships

Keep checking your list throughout the month, and try to knock something out every week. You’re making great progress, and spring is just around the corner.

Want to know how to prepare for the rest of the year? Be sure to download our Ultimate College Decision Timeline.

Download the checklist - The Ultimate College Decision Timeline

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Topics: Applying to College, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Application Timeline, Common App

Top 5 Scholarship Opportunities for November 2016

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 11/17/16 8:30 AM

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Topics: Financial Aid, Scholarships

Your College Application Checklist for November 2016

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 11/8/16 9:00 AM

And just like that, it’s suddenly November.

Whether you’re in your junior or senior year of high school, fall means it’s time to get moving on all those college application “to do’s.”

We know it can be a lot to keep track of, so this checklist should help you stay on top of everything.

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Topics: Applying to College, Financial Aid, Application Timeline

Should You Take Out a Private Student Loan for Your Child’s College Education?

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 8/4/16 7:30 AM

Student loan applicationYour child’s graduation from high school and transition toward college is one of the most exciting milestones of their life—for both of you.

At least until that first bill shows up.

Deciphering the financial aid award letter is one thing , but figuring out how much you’ll have to pay is another as the award doesn’t cover the full amount. What happens if your family doesn’t have the ability to pay the remaining amount?

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Topics: Financial Aid, Student Loans, Scholarships

How to Help Your Child Interpret Their College Financial Aid Award

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 8/2/16 7:30 AM

So your son or daughter just received financial aid award letters from the colleges he or she applied to—and with all the acronyms and confusing terminology, it could very well be in another language.

What does it all mean? How do you determine how much your family has to pay? How can you understand the financial obligations your child might be taking on so you can help them make smart decisions about their education and future?

Let’s break this down together.

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Topics: Financial Aid, Scholarships


 

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