FAFSA form available three months earlier

The+FAFSA+form+is+now+available+on+Oct.+1%2C+three+months+ahead+of+the+previous+Jan.+1+date%2C+to+accommodate+students+who+come+from+families+that+own+businesses+and+farms.
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FAFSA form available three months earlier

The FAFSA form is now available on Oct. 1, three months ahead of the previous Jan. 1 date, to accommodate students who come from families that own businesses and farms.

The FAFSA form is now available on Oct. 1, three months ahead of the previous Jan. 1 date, to accommodate students who come from families that own businesses and farms.

The FAFSA form is now available on Oct. 1, three months ahead of the previous Jan. 1 date, to accommodate students who come from families that own businesses and farms.

The FAFSA form is now available on Oct. 1, three months ahead of the previous Jan. 1 date, to accommodate students who come from families that own businesses and farms.

JESSICA ZHOU, Evergreen reporter

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The FAFSA form is now available on Oct. 1, three months ahead of the previous Jan. 1 date, to accommodate students who come from families that own businesses and farms, and don’t file taxes until the end of the school year.

“What that means for those people is that they can’t file an accurate FAFSA,” said Michelle Francis, WSU Financial Aid communications representative, “which results in hardship or prevention in receiving financial aid.”

Because the Palouse area is heavily involved in agricultural production, Francis said local students who attend WSU were previously at a disadvantage when applying for financial aid.

“The change is intended so that from now on, we’re using tax information two years prior,” Francis said, “to be more inclusive of all families.”

This change aligns the FAFSA with the WASFA, (Washington Application for State Financial Aid), which shares the Oct. 1 availability date and November 30 deadline. January 31 is the deadline for WSU’s priority date to file the FAFSA and WASFA for new students, as well as the deadline for general scholarship applications, Francis said.

Another significant change beginning in the 2017-2018 FAFSA, according to the Federal Student Aid site, is that students are required to report information from an earlier tax year. This means, on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students are required to report their 2015 income information in lieu of that from 2016.

There is also a special circumstances appeal process by which students can update information to accurately reflect their current financial situation if it is different from the previous tax year, according to the Student Financial Services website.

WSU financial aid advertised the changes on social media, and students have an additional hold placed on their student account reminding them of the earlier FAFSA application open date.

Reporting by Jessica Zhou