If the student is attending college for the first time in Fall of 2017 then you can fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) anytime after October 1st. You will be using your 2015 tax information that you filed by April, 2016. The following link leads you to a document that presents the changes in Financial Aid processing:
Greater information can be found at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid below:
The folowing article from the blog, Homeroom: The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education, tells of the top 11 mistakes that are made when filling out the FAFSA Application. The article can be found at the following site:
If the student is attending college for the first time in the Fall of 2017 or beyond, the FAFSA process is a bit easier it that the student can start filling out the FAFSA in October of his/her senior year rather than waiting for JAnuary 1st. As well, this student can use the tax information from the taxes filed in the preceeding April 15th tax deadline. Most homes will already have their taxes done by the time this student fills out the FAFSA so a wait to get tax information should not slow down the process.
In some cases, parents want to plan ahead by finding out how much aid they may qualify for before they can fill out the FAFSA. In this case, the parent can use a predictive tool called the FAFSA4caster to estimate the financial aid the family might receive once they do fill out the FAFSA. The tool is found at the following link:
There is a persistent rumor out there that if a student is not a citizen or has parents who are not citizens, the student cannot receive aid to go to college. This is not true. The student may qualify for state aide by filling out the Texas Application for State Financial Aid. The following website discusses this process and has the application to be filled out on it:
In addition to these programs for aid, the state of Texas offers other resources to help student to fund their college experience in the student is attending school at a Texas community college, public university, or trade school. These programs can be found at the following site:
Information from Parent Financial Aid Meeting from 02/17/2016: