Beginning with the 2017–2018 FAFSA cycle, the FAFSA application became available to students and their families three months earlier on October 1 (i.e. October 1, 2016 and not January 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 award/academic year).
Additionally, beginning with the 2017-2018 cycle, the FAFSA collected income information from the tax/calendar year one year earlier than had been used in the past. Thus, for the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and families provided income information from calendar year 2015 and not from calendar year 2016. Because of this, most tax return filers could electronically transfer their tax information directly into their FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
With the 2018-2019 FAFSA cycle, the IRS DRT will be reengineered to increase.
These Frequently Asked Questions provide information and guidance pertaining to the FAFSA and the DRT. Institutions should review all applicable requirements and guidance to ensure that they are in compliance with the applicable FAFSA and verification requirements.
The listing of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated periodically and will include the date of the update. New and/or updated questions and answers will be marked NEW and appear in red font.