Students taking advantage of earlier, easier FAFSA

College students can now take advantage of an earlier and easier process to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and significantly ease the pressure to meet college application deadlines.

The submission period for the FAFSA began on Oct. 1, which is three months earlier than the usual Jan. 1 start for college students to apply for financial assistance.

Also, applicants no longer have to estimate income and tax information and can retrieve their data directly from the Internal Revenue Service starting on Oct. 1. The new process also allows students to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will report 2015 income and tax information, instead of 2016 information.

The earlier process allows students to meet some colleges’ fall admission application deadlines. Also, students can apply for college and financial aid at the same time, making the process less confusing.

“Under the previous system, many families were not able to complete the tax filing until closer to April, when federal taxes were due,” VC Financial Aid Director Kim Obsta said. “The prior year schedule did not align with the college admission schedule, and students were delayed in completing the FAFSA in a timely manner. The new process is a win-win for students and their families.”

Victoria College has scheduled two FAFSA workshops for students who want to get a head start on the 2017-18 FAFSA. The first workshop will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 106 of the VC/UHV Library. The second session will be held Monday, Oct. 24 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 135 of VC’s Heath Science Center.

This year’s GenTX Way to Pay Day event has been moved up from February to November to coincide with the earlier FAFSA form opening. The Way to Pay Day will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the UHV University Center. Victoria College, the University of Houston-Victoria, and other GenTX-Victoria partners will provide one-on-one assistance to students and families who need help with completing a college application, applying for financial aid and exploring scholarship opportunities.

For more information, contact Obsta at (361) 572-6410 or

Published: Wednesday, 19 October 2016

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