Updating a fafsa

Is your family using 529 savings accounts to help pay for college?Good news: the FAFSA changes will give you more flexibility about which accounts to draw on when.The same will be true for upperclassmen filing a FAFSA in order to renew their financial aid awards.The earlier availability of the FAFSA means that colleges can offer a financial aid award at the same time that they offer admission to an applicant.Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution, generated by the information you enter on the FAFSA) is also adjusted each year by the federal government using current statistical data.Your student will not have to start a new FAFSA every year.

One simple but significant change in family circumstances that impacts aid is an increase in the number of children in your family attending college in a given year. If a college raises tuition, room, board, fees, etc., it must then adjust its COA (Cost of Attendance) which in turn affects the formula it uses to determine need-based aid.The process changed last year and now the FAFSA becomes available on October 1 and students complete it using income information from two years prior (“prior-prior”).This means that current high school seniors applying for financial aid for 2018-19 will use tax information from their parents’ and their own 2016 income tax returns.A second form, the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, is used by almost 400 colleges, universities, professional schools and scholarship programs to allocate non-federal student aid.