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Special News: Prior-Prior Year FAFSA

There’s a new acronym in the admission-sphere, and it’s not a new Michael Jackson song...

PPY is financial aid’s P.Y.T.
The U.S. Department of Education has introduced Prior-Prior Year (PPY) filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to students’ and families’ financial aid application process. Back in the day, students filled out the FAFSA using their parents’ tax information from the previous year (example: a senior applying for Fall 2016 would use 2015 tax data for the FAFSA). But with PPY, students can use their parents’ tax information from two years prior (example, this year’s seniors applying for Fall 2017 will file the FAFSA with 2015 tax information).

October is the new January.
Now, students can start their financial aid applications with FAFSA three months earlier than past admissions cycles. This is great for students who want to apply using early notification deadlines. For most colleges and universities, when a student receives a decision letter, the financial aid package joining it will be a more accurate offer. In the past, students applying Early Action or Early Decision would fill out the FAFSA of that same year to receive an estimated financial aid package, which would then become irrelevant come January 1, when the new form of the FAFSA was available for the coming Fall first-year cohort entry.

One sheet to rule them all.
Earlier this year, NACAC offered these handy PPY fact sheets for families; college counselors; and admissions professionals. These are perfect one-pagers to share with your students or to include in your college advising offices.

A knowledgeable counselor is a haPPY counselor.
So how does this affect your advising? It’s critical to let your students know they can begin filling out the FAFSA right now, especially those sending in applications for EA or ED. Let your families know that application deadlines and notification dates have not changed for this admissions cycle, though it’s still too soon to say if PPY will start a new trend of earlier notification and submission deadlines.

Check out the following video from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) about the benefits of PPY:

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