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Applying for Federal Financial Aid Just Got Simpler!

Applying for Federal Financial Aid Just Got Simpler!

There are two new important changes to the 2017-2018 application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Both should make filling out the application easier and give you the ability to see your entire financial aid package sooner!

Student Aid ApplicationFirst, the 2017-2018 financial aid award year doesn’t start until July 1, 2017, but now you can fill out your FAFSA as soon as October 1, 2016.  We used to have to wait until January!  This means you can see your entire financial aid picture sooner.

The second change is that you’ll use your 2015 tax return for your 2017-2018 FAFSA.  You’ll actually use the same tax return for next year that you used for your 2016-2017 FAFSA.  This is great news, because now you don’t have to wait until you’ve filed your 2016 taxes to fill out your FAFSA.

Depending on the start date you choose for the massage therapy program, you may have part of your financial aid coming from one award year and part coming from the following award year.  We refer to these as “crossover classes.”  So if you want to start the massage therapy program with any of our “crossover classes”, you can now be certain of your entire financial aid picture before you start school, as long as you’ve filed your 2015 tax return.  Some students had to wait until they had filed their most recent tax return, complicating the process and making everyone unsure of the exact amount of aid expected.

You can start here:  You’ll need to create an FSA ID if you don’t already have one ( a simple process), and all you need is your social security number and a valid email address to create one.  Then you’ll need your 2015 tax return, any untaxed income information (things like child support received or money paid on your behalf), and asset information (the balances of your bank and investment accounts).  If you don’t have your 2015 tax return, many people can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import their taxes into the FAFSA directly from the IRS.  SSMT’s school code for the FAFSA is 016937, and you can always search the database by school name if you forget our school code.

The Department of Education has made some great changes to next year’s FAFSA that will streamline the process for both students and schools, and we’re always here to help if you need it!

About Stephanie King

Stephanie King is the Assistant Director and Finance Administrator at SSMT.