Published: Oct. 12, 2016

A new timeline that eliminates the rush to file taxes: that’s the quickest way to explain the updates for financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has made two big changes to help students and their parents complete the application. First, it uses tax information from two years ago instead of last year – that way, families will not be held up from applying for aid while they file and the IRS processes their tax return. For most people, it also means that they can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which transfers tax information from the IRS database to the application.

Since families don’t have to wait to file taxes – why wait to apply? The FAFSA for the 2017-18 academic year opened Oct. 1, three months prior to its usual open date. This second change helps incoming students the most. Apply now and they will get a better idea of their financial aid eligibility before they decide which college to attend.

What if your 2015 tax information doesn’t accurately reflect your current financial standing? It’s a questions that most financial aid offices are preparing to answer as this new season of applicants begins. And the answer is: CU Boulder’s Office of Financial Aid will consider a families current financial situation.

“Apply now with your 2015 tax information and let us ask you if we need any additional information,” advises Deputy Director of Financial Aid Ofelia Morales. “You won’t need your 2016 tax information until you apply for 2018-19 aid. And remember - We’re here to help.”

More information about these changes are online at