Navigating Changes to FAFSA

October 10, 2016 |

Changes made to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are making the filing process easier for East Central College students.

You can now submit the FAFSA as early as October 1, rather than January 1. This isn’t the deadline, but it’s best to get the form in early because some aid awards are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The permanent change will allow you and your family to budget for the upcoming school year sooner.

Additionally, you will now report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-2018 FAFSA you—or your parent(s)—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income information. This change will make the FAFSA easier because you’ll already have done your taxes for 2015 by the time you fill out the FAFSA. This means you won’t have to estimate your income information. You may also be able to automatically import your tax information directly into your FAFSA.

Still need help navigating the FAFSA? East Central College is here to help! Join us at one of our many FAFSA nights this fall. These public sessions will assist students and their families in completing the FAFSA. The sessions will be held in Buescher Hall, Room 182 from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on October 20, November 3 and 17 and December 1.

Those attending the sessions need to bring a Social Security Number, driver’s license or government issued ID, W-2 forms and records of other income and a 2015 Federal Income Tax Return of both the student and the parent.

Other important documentation includes untaxed income records, veteran’s non-education benefit records, child support received and/or paid, worker’s compensation and any investment records. Those who are not U.S. citizens should bring an alien registration or permanent resident card.

East Central College’s 2017-2018 FAFSA priority deadline is December 1st. Missouri’s application deadline is February 1st.

Students can receive financial aid assistance during normal business hours at the Union and Rolla campuses. For more information, call 636-584-6588 or visit www.EastCentral.edu/FinAid.