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Early Federal Student Aid Application Available to College Students on October 1

Starting on Oct. 1, 2016 students seeking assistance with financing their higher education will be able to apply for student aid, rather than wait until the new calendar year. This amendment is due to significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which were announced by United States President Barack Obama in 2015. These new changes will affect the 2017-18 application cycle.

 This year, students and their family members will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017.  The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling financial aid applicants to submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, every year.

Additionally, beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from the previous tax year.  For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students and their parents will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than income and tax information from 2016.

Changes to FAFSA

The goal of early FAFSA is to expand college opportunity by ensuring that students and families have more time to consider their college options with an understanding of the financial resources available to help them pay for college, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

“These changes will really benefit our students and all students,” said Cheryl Roberts, director of Financial Aid at UVI.  “With the Oct. 1, release date, households will no longer have to wait for income statements or a W-2 form at the beginning of a calendar year to get their FAFSA’s filed, which is certain to alleviate some of the anxiety formerly associated with the process.”

For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid at the University of the Virgin Islands at (340) 692-4193 on St. Croix or (340) 693-1090 on St. Thomas. The financial aid staff can be reached via email at financialaidstx@uvi.edu or financialaidstt@uvi.edu.  UVI’s federal school codes are 006989- St. Croix or 003946- St. Thomas. Only one code is required on the FAFSA for UVI.

You may also visit the official website of the U.S. Department of Education Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov