FAFSA Tips: What to Do Before the End of 2015 to Boost Your Odds for More Financial Aid

Changes coming to the application process make 2015 tax returns doubly important for college-bound students.

(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Applying for financial aid will soon be less of a hassle for college students and their families. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—used to determine financial aid from the government as well as colleges—can be filed three months earlier, or as early as October 1, nearly a year before a student would start classes the following fall. This shift in timing will allow completed tax returns to be used to report income and assets on the FAFSA.

SLIDE SHOW: 10 Colleges That Don't Require Student Loans

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Kaitlin Pitsker
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Pitsker joined Kiplinger in the summer of 2012. Previously, she interned at the Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse, N.Y., and with Chronogram magazine in Kingston, N.Y. She holds a BS in magazine journalism from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.