Early FAFSA

You can now file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning Oct. 1 instead of waiting until Jan. 1.

The following table provides a summary of key dates for the FAFSA submission time frame and related tax information.

When a Student Is Attending College (School Year)When a Student Can Submit a FAFSAWhich Year’s Income and Tax Informat​ion Is Required
July 1, 2017-June 30-2018​Oct. 1, 2016-June 30, 20182015
July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019Oct. 1, 2017-June 30, 20192016

How does this benefit me?

You benefit in these ways:

  • Because the FAFSA asks for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
  • Because you’ll already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA. (Learn about the IRS DRT at StudentAid.gov/irsdrt.)
  • Because the FAFSA is available earlier, you may feel less pressure due to having more time to explore and understand your financial aid options and apply for aid before your state’s and school’s deadlines.

FAFSA deadlines for DCCCD will remain the same (check out our Important Dates & Deadlines page).

Will my FAFSA information from the previous year automatically be carried over if I complete a renewal FAFSA?

No; too much could have changed since you filed your last FAFSA, and there’s no way to predict what might be different, so you’ll need to enter the information again. However, keep in mind that many people are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their tax information into the FAFSA, making the process of reporting tax information quick and easy.

My family’s financial situation has changed since our previous taxes were filed. What should I do?

You must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the previous tax year, contact the Financial Aid Office about your family’s situation.

Where can I get more information about — and help with — the FAFSA?

  • See our FAFSA Overview page for information and tips
  • or contact us at the Financial Aid Call Center or your college Financial Aid Office.