FAFSA Changes For 2017–18 & Beyond

Early FAFSA and Prior-Prior Year

On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced two significant changes to the process for filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Early FAFSA and the use of Prior-Prior Year income.  This webpage is designed to help you understand what these changes mean, how they will impact your completion of the FAFSA, and how they will impact your application for financial aid at Millersville University for the 2017-18 academic year and beyond.

  • What is Early FAFSA and Prior-Prior Year?

    Early FAFSA:  You will be able to file your 2017–18 FAFSA beginning on Oct. 1, 2016, rather than January 1, 2017; January 1 has been the traditional start date for many years. This change to an earlier submission date will be permanent; meaning that, in each succeeding year, October 1 will continue to be the first date for completing the FAFSA for the academic year that starts the following year. Therefore, you will be able to complete the 2018-2019 FAFSA application as soon as October 1, 2017!

    Prior Prior YearIn the past, when completing a FAFSA, you would enter tax information from the most recently completed tax year (the Prior year).  For example, for the 2016-17 academic year, students used 2015 tax information.  The problem with this was that many people needed to complete their FAFSA soon after the start of the new year, meaning they had to rush to complete their taxes first.  Many people could not complete their taxes in time to meet financial aid deadlines.

    Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, you will be required to report income information from the tax year that is one year earlier (the Prior Prior year).  For the 2017–18 FAFSA, this means that students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.  For students who filed a 2016-17 FAFSA, this means they will be using the same 2015 tax year information again for the 2017-18  FAFSA, but this will be a one-time only situation in this transition year.


    This chart illustrates the beginning FAFSA filing dates and appropriate tax years for the next few academic years.

    JULY 1, 2017 – JUNE 30, 2018 2017-18 OCTOBER 1, 2016 – JUNE 30, 2018 2015
    JULY 1, 2018 – JUNE 30, 2019 2018-19 OCTOBER 1, 2017 – JUNE 30, 2019 2016
    JULY 1, 2019 – JUNE 30, 2020 2019-20 OCTOBER 1, 2018 – JUNE 30, 2020 2017

    Click here to visit a federal government web page that repeats some of this information, but also has links to some resources that will help you to better understand these changes.  We particularly recommend the College Students and Parents: What You Need to Know About the 2017­–18 FAFSA® link near the bottom of this page.

    Which FAFSA should I complete?
  • How does the FAFSA change affect Millersville University students?

    While many of these changes will apply equally to all students, there are some differences depending on whether you are an incoming student for the spring semester of 2017-2018 or the upcoming fall/spring semesters of 2018-2019. 2017-2018 academic year or a continuing student.

    Incoming Students

    If you are planning to start Millersville or transferring here for the spring 2018 semester, you will need to complete both FAFSA applications. The first application that you will need to file is the 2017-2018 application so that you can receive financial aid for the spring 2018 semester. You will also need to complete a 2018-2019 FAFSA application in preparation for the 2018-2019 academic year. You can complete both FAFSA's as early as October 1st. Keep in mind that you will need to provide tax information for two years (2015 and 2016) depending on the FAFSA you are completing.

      • Incoming students for spring 2018: You will need to complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA application before completing the 2018-2019. You may have already completed you 2017-2018 FAFSA and just need to add Millersville's school code. Millersville will begin   We hope to begin sending financial aid packages to new incoming and transfer students for the 2018 spring semester in late October, early November.
      • Incoming students for the fall/spring 2018-2019: Although you may file your 2018-2019 FAFSA beginning October 1st, Millersville University won’t be able to send you a financial aid package that early.  We hope to begin sending financial aid packages to new incoming students for the 2018-2019 academic year in mid to late January.

    In order to receive your aid package for either the spring of 2018 or for the fall/spring of 2018-2019, you’ll want to make sure you have completed the correct FAFSA and completed any other required documents we ask you to submit.  If you have paid your Admission's confirmation fee, it is very important that you pay attention to your Millersville University email account, which is how we will inform you of any additional information we need from you in order to complete your financial aid package.

      • Even though we will begin working on your financial aid package earlier than previous years, the Millersville University priority deadline for completing your financial aid applications will not change.  For the 2018-2019 year, that deadline will be March 15, 2018.  Of course, the longer you wait to file, the longer it will be until we can send your aid package.

    Continuing Students

    You can file your 2018-2019 FAFSA beginning October 1st, 2017, and we encourage you to do so as soon as possible, but be aware that these changes will not affect the timeline for continuing students to receive their financial aid packages.  Just as in previous years, you should expect to receive your package in early to mid-June (June 2018 for the 2018-2019 academic year).

      • The main advantage to you in filing earlier will be to give you more time to complete any needed paperwork so that your applications will be ready for the completion of your financial aid package in June. The Millersville University priority deadline for completing your financial aid applications will not change.  For the 2018-2019 year, that deadline will be March 15, 2018.
      • Filing earlier or later (as long as it is between October 1, 2017, and March 15, 2018) will not change the amount of aid you will receive.
      • If you have been selected for verification in the past, you’ll be glad to hear that this new system makes verification simpler. If selected for verification for the 2018-2019 year, most applicants should be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) right away because tax information from 2016 should now be processed and ready to use via the DRT.  This streamlined process will cut down on the amount of additional information you have to submit to us and eliminate wait times for things like tax transcripts, allowing you to more easily receive your financial aid package on schedule.
  • other common question & answers
    • The FAFSA is the application that students must complete to apply for federal student aid and need-based forms of institutional financial aid.  Federal student aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal student loans, and work-study opportunities.  At Millersville University, you must also complete a FAFSA in order to be considered for the need-based Millersville University Grant. 
    • You must complete a FAFSA every year.
    • No.  Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and parents will be required to use income and tax information from two years prior (as described above under Prior-Prior Year).  For example, for the 2018-12019 FAFSA, you must use your 2016 tax data.  The advantage of Prior-Prior Year is that most applicants should easily be able to roll their tax data into their FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
    • No, too much non-financial data, such as household size or the number of family members attending college, could have changed.
    • To gain access to your Millersville e-mail address, you must be an accepted student and have paid your confirmation fee with Admissions. For information on how to activate your e-mail and myVILLE account, go to http://myaccount.millersville.edu and click on First Time Account Setup. Enter your Millersville University student ID number, date of birth and follow the instructions.  
      • Start checking your Millersville University student email right away.  We send important information to you through this account, so check it on a regular basis!  
      • If you are having difficulty accessing your myVILLE Account, please contact:  The Technology Help Desk at 717-871-7777
      • If you have any questions about changes to the FAFSA, the application process, or financial aid in general, please contact us!
  • Contact Info

    Lyle Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 241

    Office Hours:
    Standard: Mon.-Fri. 8:00am to 4:30pm (mid-Aug. to mid-May); Summer: Mon.-Fri. 8:00am to 4:00pm (mid-May to mid-Aug.)

    Phone: 717-871-5100                           
    Fax:  717-871-7980 
    Email: fa.mail@millersville.edu

    USPS Mailing Address:
    Office of Financial Aid
    Millersville University
    P.O. Box 1002
    Millersville, PA 17551-0302

    Address for UPS/FedEx:
    Office of Financial Aid
    Lyle Hall, 2nd Floor
    40 Dilworth Rd
    Millersville, PA 17551-0302