Parents and students: FAFSA is available early

Staff Report

Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available to college-bound students and their families now — months earlier than in previous years.

The change impacts high school seniors, continuing college students, and others who plan to attend college during the 2017-2018 school year, as they apply for grants, loans, or scholarships.

FAFSA is used to calculate a student’s financial aid eligibility. In addition to being available earlier, it also now will collect income information from an earlier tax year – the “prior prior” year instead of the “prior” year before the student will start college. For example, high school seniors who plan to start college in the fall of 2017 can complete the FAFSA using their parents’ 2015 tax return information (rather than waiting for 2016 information).

To help Ohioans navigate student loans and plan for college, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office provides an online student loan center for prospective, current, and former college students. It outlines different types of financial aid, lists resources for exploring careers, schools, and financial aid options, and offers calculators to help students budget their expenses and plan loan repayments. Visit

Staff Report