Changes to federal student aid application take effect

Oct. 3, 2016

Dear UNT Community,

We just began the 2016-17 academic year, but it already is time for our students to apply for 2017-18 financial aid. Beginning with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), two changes will be in effect:

  • Students will be able to submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 every year.
  • Students will use income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than their 2016 income and tax information.

Why are these changes important? 

The move to an earlier application date can help students in several ways:

  • Prospective students can complete their FAFSA at the same time they are completing their college admissions applications, allowing for a more coordinated process.
  • Completed tax information is available when they are ready to apply for financial aid. This will make it easier to fill in application forms − and increase the likelihood they can import their income directly from the IRS.
  • Students will have time to resolve any income verification requirements or supplemental requests needed to complete their financial aid file.
  • Students will be able to learn about their financial aid eligibility and awards earlier.

These changes can have a positive impact for our students. As you talk with our students, please encourage them to file their 2017-18 FAFSA early at About 75 percent of our UNT students receive more than $350 million in financial aid annually, including more than $39 million in scholarships.

Thank you for helping our students successfully complete their education.

Zelma DeLeon
Executive Director
Student Financial Aid and Scholarships