Although the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSAs should be completed using the same 2015 income and tax information, there is the possibility that there might be conflicting information between the two FAFSAs. The most effective way to prevent conflicting information from occurring is for financial aid administrators to urge FAFSA applicants and their parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. To help administrators identify applications with potential conflicting information, beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, ISIRS will contain a comment code of 399 indicating conflicting information of prior-prior year data. Take a look at GEN 16-14 for more information about resolving conflicting information on the 2017-2018 Early FAFSA.


The 2017-2018 FAFSA will be available for students beginning this year on October 1st. In a recent letter to College President’s, Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell urged them to consider providing earlier award notifications to students and families and to encourage students to file their FAFSA as soon after October 1st as possible. He also asked colleges not to move any priority financial aid deadlines earlier than deadlines for recent years, as doing so could cause high school seniors to rush through the college admissions and financial aid processes, countering the benefit of the early FAFSA, more time to comparative shop.

PPY FAFSA Verification and Use of Professional Judgment Authority

Early FAFSA Verification and Conflicting Information Resolution
The Early FAFSA is just a few months away and has had many a FA office stressing out a bit as they scramble to get ready for the October 1, 2016 launch.

In case you missed it – Beginning with the 2017-2018 cycle, the FAFSA will not only be available to students and families three months earlier, it will also collect income information from the tax/calendar year one year earlier than has been used in the past. Thus for the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and families will provide “Prior-Prior-Year” (PPY) income information from calendar year 2015 and not from calendar year 2016. Fortunately, almost all tax return filers will be able to electronically transfer their tax information directly into their FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Continue reading PPY FAFSA Verification and Use of Professional Judgment Authority