Skip to Main Content

FAFSA Changes for 2017-2018

Prior-Prior Year FAFSA - Application opens Oct 1, 2016 for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 aid.

Expect two major changes for the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

  1. Submit your FAFSA earlier than ever before: The FAFSA opened on October 1, 2016 for 2017-2018 aid. Before, you and your parents had to wait until January 1 each year to submit the application.
  2. Use earlier 2015 income information: In order to submit the FAFSA earlier, you will report income from an earlier tax year, called “Prior-Prior Year”. Instead of using the previous year’s tax information (2016), applicants will go back two years to use 2015 income information.

School YearBoise State SemestersFAFSA YearTax Year UsedBoise State Priority Date
2017-2018Fall 2017, Spring and Summer 201820182015February 15, 2017
2016-2017Fall 2016, Spring and Summer 201720172015passed

What are the benefits of an earlier FAFSA?

  • No more estimates or early tax filings required: Previously, many students and families used estimated tax information to submit the FAFSA early, often before taxes were filed. With the Prior-Prior Year change, families will have already filed taxes the year before and are able to use that information to meet early deadlines.
  • Earlier aid awards and better information for decisions: FAFSA submissions, aid awarding, and college decision deadlines were previously crowded together over 3-5 months. Students and families had limited time to make important decisions.  By submitting the FAFSA and receiving aid awards earlier, students can make more informed decisions with less stress.
  • Increased ability to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)With the typical student/family filing taxes months before submitting the FAFSA, more applicants will be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool to transfer 2015 tax information directly into the FAFSA. This allows for quicker FAFSA submissions, fewer errors, and more accurate aid.

Why should I apply early?

Some funding is limited: the priority date for all students for Fall 2017 is February 15, 2017. Submitting your FAFSA by this date allows you to be considered for priority aid including additional scholarships, work-study, additional grants and loans.

The earlier you apply, the earlier you’ll be notified regarding your financial aid:

  • New students for fall 2017 will have aid awards as early as December available for review.
  • Continuing Boise State students for fall 2017 will have aid awards as early as March.

Visit to submit your 2017-2018 FAFSA. Checklists and instructions can help as you submit the FAFSA and apply for scholarships.

What if my income or family situation has changed from 2015?

If you or your family has experienced a change to your financial situation, you have the opportunity to request a review of your FAFSA through a Special Conditions process. We understand that your 2015 income information may not accurately reflect your current finances.

You may pursue a 2016 Actual Income Review to explain your financial changes. Approval to use 2016 tax information on the FAFSA depends on your specific circumstances. Please follow instructions carefully on the form and reach out to our office if assistance is needed.