What Does "Prior-Prior Year" Mean?
In the past, the first date to file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) was January 1 and your financial aid package would be based on the prior year’s income tax return.
For example, if you filed a FAFSA in January of 2016 to obtain a financial aid package for the Fall 2016 term, you would need to use your 2015 tax return information or an estimate of that information if you had not yet filed a return.
Since many people do not file a tax return at the beginning of the year, the federal government has now made it easier for students and/or parents to file a FAFSA.
Starting with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, you will use the “prior-prior year’s” tax return (in other words, the tax return from two years ago). For example, if you are filing a FAFSA for a financial aid package for the Fall of 2017, you will use your 2015 tax return information. This makes the process of getting your financial aid package much less stressful.
Plus, you can now file a FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. This is great news in particular for students who wish to apply to Pace using Early Decision or Early Action. Not only will you get an admission decision earlier, but you could also obtain your complete financial aid package at the same time.