FAFSA released early this year


UConn students can now start filing out the FAFSA earlier than past years. Forms filed later in the year will still be treated the same way. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

This year students will have more time for the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) since the application was released on Oct. 1 instead of the usual Jan. 1.

The final submission deadline for students at the University of Connecticut will still be March 1 for full consideration.

The release date was made earlier to help families by making it easier to access prior tax information and get rid of the burden of having to hurry the process of filing their taxes, according to Hernan Cortez, Assistant Director of Client Services at the Office of Student Financial Aid at the University of Connecticut.

“It is now available Oct. 1 so you have a few more months to start and complete the FAFSA,” Cortez said.

Cortez, has said notification of aid eligibility will still be given mid-March for new students and mid-April for returning students.

The new 2017-18 FAFSA calls for tax information from 2015 taxes.

If income in 2016 has dropped significantly, the FAFSA asks that you still provide the 2015 tax information and contact your individual school about your specific situation.

Cortez said that the Office of Student Financial Aid realizes how much can happen from one year to another, so students can fill out the Special Circumstances Appeal form online to get more aid if their situation requires it.

There has also been concern about whether people who submit in October will have a higher chance of getting financial aid than people who submit later.

“If you submit your FAFSA today, and somebody else does it by March 1, both of those people would be considered for the same type of aid,” Cortez said. “We here [at UConn] do not go by a first-come first-serve basis.”

Sabrina O’Brien is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at sabrina.o’brien@uconn.edu

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