Changes Coming to FAFSA

Students and their parents may have heard in the news that there have been significant changes made to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. These changes affect students at colleges and universities across the nation, including Belhaven.

Here’s a look at the changes, meant to make the application process more efficient.

Students will be able to submit a FAFSA® earlier.  Students will be able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.

Students will use earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.

The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.



  • Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
  • It should be noted that students must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, then you should contact the Belhaven Student Financial aid office.
  • If you have any questions, you can contact Belhaven Student Financial Aid at 1-800-960-5940 or 601-968-5933.

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