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FAFSA Information

What You Need to Know About the 2017–18 FAFSA

Welcome to Moravian College’s FAFSA page!  Our aim is to help clarify the recently-announced changes to the FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid. But don’t worry, these changes were put in place to make the financial aid application process easier for students and their parents. And that’s precisely what they do.

Our awesome financial aid services team here at Moravian College stands ready to guide you every step of the way. It's kind of like having your own concierge for all things educational financing, so lean on us! Together, let’s take the FEAR out of FAFSA!

What’s changing for 2017–18?

Starting with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), these changes will be in effect:

  • You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA earlier.  You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
  • You’ll use earlier income and tax information.  Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year.  For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s) as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information.

 

The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.
 

When Student Is
Attending College (School Year)
FAFSA Start-Up Which Year’s Income and
Tax Information Is Required
2015–16 January 1, 2015 2014
2016–17 January 1, 2016 2015
2017–18 October 1, 2016 2015
2018–19 October 1, 2017 2016


How will the changes benefit me?


We expect that you’ll benefit in these ways:

  • Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA.  This means you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
  • Because the FAFSA is available earlier, you may feel less pressure due to having more time to explore and understand your financial aid options before your school’s deposit and term billing deadlines.

Can I choose to report 2016 information if my family’s financial situation has changed since our 2015 taxes were filed?

You must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, talk to the financial aid office at your school about your family’s situation.  Moravian College’s expert financial aid counselors will gladly offer productive suggestions to help you navigate the College’s responsive appeal process.

Note: The FAFSA asks for marital status as of the day you fill it out. So if you’re married now but weren’t in 2015 (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), you’ll need to add your spouse’s income to your FAFSA. Similarly, if you filed your 2015 taxes as married but you’re no longer married when you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to subtract your spouse’s income.

Will I receive aid offers earlier if I apply earlier?

Not necessarily; some schools will make offers earlier while others won’t.  At Moravian College, we believe all interested prospect families should benefit from the earlier timeframe.  Therefore, we will begin awarding our new admits (who file early) in November, three months earlier than in past years.  Want to know even sooner?  Use our convenient self-service calculator to estimate your financial aid and out-of-pocket cost.

How will I know what schools to list on the FAFSA if I haven’t decided which schools I’ll be applying to?

List any schools you’re considering, so that your FAFSA information is sent to them.  Later, if you decide to apply to additional schools that you didn’t list on the FAFSA, you can log back in at fafsa.gov and add those schools.

Can you tell me more about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool was designed to automatically import your IRS tax information into your FAFSA. The IRS DRT was turned off in March following concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns. According to Federal authorities, the tool will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added.

Update April 2017

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will remain unavailable until the start of the next FAFSA season. We regret any inconvenience. To fill out or correct a FAFSA, you can manually input your tax information. Remember, if you’re filling out the 2017–18 FAFSA form, your 2015 tax information is required (not 2016).

(For 2016-17 FAFSA filers) Since the 2017–18 FAFSA asks for the same tax and income information as the 2016–17 FAFSA, will my 2016–17 FAFSA information automatically be carried over into my 2017–18 renewal FAFSA?

No.  Too much could have changed since you filed your last FAFSA, and there’s no way to predict what might be different, so you’ll need to enter the information again. 

Where can I get more information about—and help with—the FAFSA?

  • Contact Moravian College's Office of Financial Aid Services, by email (finaid@moravian.edu), phone (610-861-1330), or just stop in. Let us know how we can help!
  • Come join us at Moravian College's FAFSA Completion Day Monday, October 10.
  • Plan to attend one of Moravian College's Open Houses and other Admission events. Our friendly financial aid counselors will be there, too!
  • Visit StudentAid.gov/fafsa; and remember, as you fill out your FAFSA at fafsa.gov, you can refer to help text for every question and (during certain times of day) chat online with a customer service representative.