Posted Date: March 18, 2016

Author:  Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Early FAFSA Electronic Announcement #4 - Determining FAFSA Prior-Prior Items

As noted in previous communications, beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and their families will provide income and tax information from the tax year one year earlier than has been used in the past. Thus, the 2017-2018 FAFSA will collect information from 2015 and not from 2016. This applies to both student/spouse income information and, for dependent students, parental income information.

The following details which questions on the 2017-2018 FAFSA should be completed with tax year 2015 information (the prior-prior year) and which questions continue to be based on long-established timeframes

Prior-Prior Year Income-Related FAFSA Questions

The 2017-2018 FAFSA questions in the following table are to be completed with tax year 2015 information:

2017-2018 FAFSA Question Number(s) for Student (spouse) Parents

FAFSA Question

Timeframe

 

 

 

Question 32 
Question 80

Tax return status (already completed, will file, not going to file)

 

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 33
Question 81

Type of tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, foreign return, Puerto Rico or other U.S. territory return)

 

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 34
Question 82

Tax filing status (single, head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately, qualifying widow, don’t know)

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 35
Question 83

Eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ?

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 36
Question 85

Adjusted gross income

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 37
Question 86

U.S. taxes paid

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 38
Question 87

Number of exemptions claimed

 

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 39
Question 40

Question 88
Question 89

Income earned from work – Student
Income earned from work – Spouse

Income earned from work – Parent 1
Income earned from work – Parent 2

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 44
Question 93

Exclusions from income

Tax year 2015

 

 

 

Question 45
Question 94

Untaxed income

Tax year 2015

EFC-Related Questions—Not Prior-Prior

The 2017-2018 FAFSA EFC related questions in the following table are not based on the prior-prior year and should be completed according to the timeframe shown.

2017-2018 FAFSA Question Number(s) for Student (spouse) Parents

FAFSA Question

Timeframe

 

 

 

Question 102
Question 84

Dislocated Worker

As of date of FAFSA completion

 

 

 

Question 95
Question 73

Number in Household

Projected for the award year

 

 

 

Question 96
Question 74

Number in College

Projected for the award year

 

 

 

Question 41 to 43
Question 90 to 92

Assets

As of date of FAFSA completion

 

 

 

Question 97 to 101
Question 75 to 79

Receipt of certain means-tested benefits

Calendar years 2015 or 2016

We hope that the information in this Electronic Announcement is helpful and that institutions and others who advise students and families will use it in the development of their outreach materials.

Finally, as we announced in Early FAFSA Electronic Announcement #2 we have developed an "Early FAFSA" mailbox as a way for the community to contribute ideas and concerns that they believe we should consider for the 2017-2018 Early FAFSA. The email address of the mailbox is EarlyFAFSAFeedback@ed.gov. Although we will not be able to reply to individual messages, we will carefully review all messages received and where appropriate post them to our IFAP Early FAFSA page.

   

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