Recent changes to this important application for college financial help should help ease the process of filing it.
It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which students must complete to be eligible for financial aid including Pell grants, the HOPE scholarship, and Tennessee Promise scholarship.
New this year: The FAFSA will be available on October 1 instead of January 1 for the upcoming school year, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.
The second major change is that the required financial information from the Internal Revenue Service can be used from the prior year’s income tax return, so there’s more certainty.
In the past, FAFSA applications submitted before income taxes were filed had to be updated later to include that new tax return information.
The changes should reduce the stress of filing FAFSA and provide more certainty because income won’t have to be estimated.
“I would encourage anyone who might consider enrolling in the fall semester of 2017 to go ahead and complete the FAFSA beginning October 1,” said Robin Townson, financial aid director for Roane State Community College.
“Reporting income information should be much easier now,” she said, “as it will be based on 2015 income information, and individuals will have the availability to import tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA form for the 2015 tax year.
“Our One Stop offices, Success Coaches, and Financial Aid staff will be glad to assist with the process and answer any questions students or parents may have.”
Townson said Roane State will be holding FAFSA filing events for staff to provide students with help in filling out the application from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday, October 25, on the Oak Ridge, Roane County, Campbell County, Scott County, Cumberland County, Morgan County, and Loudon County campuses.
Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has campuses in Crossville, Harriman, Huntsville, Jamestown, Knoxville, Lafollette, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge and Wartburg.
For more information, visit roanestate.edu or call 1-866-GO2-RSCC (1-866-462-7722).
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