Question

Were you aware that 2/3 of adults experiencing homelessness have not received a high school diploma or completed a GED?

October 1 FAFSA Date Could Help More Homeless Youth Apply for Financial Aid

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last year, President Obama announced that for the 2017-18 academic year, students will be able to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on October 1, 2016. This will allow students to complete the FAFSA three months earlier than the traditional January 1st FAFSA release date.

For several reasons, this change is extremely important for homeless youth. First, the traditional January 1st date falls during winter break. Many homeless youth need assistance in order to complete the FAFSA, but may not have internet access during the holiday break. And second, the earlier date means that students will be able to receive financial aid award letters sooner, allowing them more time to compare award letters and decide which college may be the best fit.

Another important change to this year’s FAFSA is that students will be able to use "prior-prior year" tax information. This means that tax information from two years prior can be used to complete the FAFSA.  In the past, many students failed to complete the FAFSA because taxes had not been filed by them, or by their parents, when the FAFSA application became available. For more information on the FAFSA release date, prior-prior tax tables, and other FAFSA resources, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

What does the October 1 FAFSA release date mean for homeless students?

  • This year, students will need to complete two FAFSA applications. The FAFSA application released on January 1, 2016 will need to be completed for the 2016-2017 academic year. The FAFSA application released on October 1, 2016 will need to be completed for the 2017-18 academic year. However, tax information from 2015 will be used for both applications.
  • Students will able to complete the FAFSA application and their college admissions applications around the same time. This will allow them to begin to apply for scholarships sooner, because some need-based scholarships require students to have a completed FAFSA.

How can McKinney-Vento school liaisons and homeless service providers help?

Read more NAEHCY News

NAEHCY 2018 Conference
Anaheim, CA
October 27-30, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
Homeless Students in ESEA Reauthorization
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