Changes are Coming for the College-Bound Class of 2017 and Beyond, Part II

FAC_BELL_ALISONBy Alison Potter Bell, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, Director of College Counseling

Last week, we shared the first in a three-part series regarding changes to the college application process. If you missed the segment on changes to the SAT, please be sure to view last week’s post.

Part II, concerning Federal Student Aid, follows:

The current system (for the Class of 2016) has a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application that opens on January 1 of the senior year and requires a family to submit tax information from the prior year (2015) for analysis by colleges for need-based financial aid (that can come in the form of grants, loans and work study).  The current form requires families to answer more than 100 questions related to income, assets and taxes. Starting with the Class of 2017, the FAFSA will ask students to report prior-prior year information.  So for the Class of 2017, tax information from 2015 will be submitted and will not require 2016 information to be submitted. There will also be data sharing with the IRS that will populate the form with information from tax returns, versus having the family resubmit their information. The application will open in October of 2016, which will allow students to learn about financial aid packages much earlier in the cycle than in previous years.

Again, this information is designed to keep you informed, but also to reassure you that the Holy Trinity College Office is also informed. We will, of course, continue to monitor these changes as they develop.

Please check our blog next week for additional information about changes to the college application process. Be sure to mark your calendars to attend the College Counseling Office’s next parent session: “Money Matters:  How to Pay for College” on Jan. 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about changes to financial aid, visit:

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