Understanding the New FAFSA Changes

Key Changes Being Made to 2017-2018 FAFSA
  • Group of students studying at a long table

There are some important changes that have been made to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-2018 application year. In September of 2015, President Obama announced the following changes were being made to the FAFSA application.

  • Students will be able to submit their 2017-2018 FAFSA application as early as October 1, 2016, rather than January 1, 2017.
  • Students will now use earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.  

Why were these changes made?

The FAFSA application, which was previously made available on January 1 for the following school year, required tax and income information from the previous calendar year. Many students and parents miss certain federal, state and/or financial aid deadlines because they think they have to file their taxes before they can complete the FAFSA. This new change aligns the financial aid application with college admissions deadlines to simplify things for families.

 For students and/or families needing assistance navigating these new changes, Community College of Denver (CCD)’s Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) has bilingual staff ready to assist students with their application.

 While the EOC is housed at and administered through CCD, it is open to the public and also serves families from the Metro Denver area and provides assistance to the following counties, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Broomfield and Boulder Counties.

 This free service is open to anyone living in these counties, regardless of which school you attend.

 Please call 303.352.TRIO (8746) for assistance. CCD also provides support for DACA/ASSET students, and those students should contact Ivonne Kossik.

 The EOC offers many services to help you succeed, including educational planning and counseling, career exploration counseling, student financial aid advising, financial literacy, and assistance with scholarship searches, as well as college preparation workshops throughout the year. In addition to CCD’s location, there are numerous centers throughout our service area that welcome you to stop by or call and make an appointment to meet with an Educational Access Specialist. You can learn more about eligibility requirements and locations at www.CCD.edu/EOC.