President Obama signed a presidential order in September 2015 which allowed for additional time to file for financial aid, going into effect Oct. 1, 2016. For the first time in history, students will use the same tax information for two years of financial aid. This means the 2015 tax information will be used for fall 2016 through summer 2018.
“In the long run, this is a good thing,” Martha Harbaugh, director of financial aid, said. “The intent is to give people more time to review the information and make an informed decision and to have accurate data.”
While change is sometimes scary, Harbaugh and federal financial aid believe that this will make life easier. “The good news about this is that you are not going to have to worry about estimating numbers. You have already filed it and can use the data retrieval option in the FAFSA [website] to pull in the data and populate the appropriate field and do all the work for you,” Harbaugh said. “You will have to change some information, such as family size, number in college, asset information could potentially have changed. But of the 102 that FAFSA asks, this will take all of the tricky ones out of the equation.”
Harbaugh suggests that any family that saw a decrease in their adjusted family income should come to Maryville’s financial aid office and see how they can help.
When asked what this means to the Maryville students, Harbaugh said, “From a sense of timeline, some programs this will not affect at all. For example, if you are using the Federal Student Loan Program, it is not going to make that much difference. What you would have been eligible for next August is what you are going to be eligible for in October.”
According to Harbaugh, financial aid will begin packaging financial aid for current students in January 2017 so they can have updated GPA and credit hours. Missouri residents that are currently enrolled at Maryville should file their FAFSA no later than Jan. 15, 2017. “What the state of Missouri is saying is that if you file by Jan. 15, then they guarantee [you] funding for next year,” Harbaugh said. Those who file later than Jan. 15 will be waitlisted.
If you or a parent is concerned with this prior prior year change, please contact financial aid and schedule an appointment to review your financial aid plan. For more information please refer to Maryville University’s page of FAQs regarding prior prior year.