Here is a link to the FAFSA formula guide for 2017-2018. Remember, this year you’ll be completing the FAFSA in October, not January.

The Tables show income and asset protection allowances for parents and students. The allowances are pretty similar to last year’s. For example, the income protection allowance for a family of 4 with 2 college students went from $24,390 in 2016-17 to $24,480 in 2017-18. The asset protection allowance for a two-parent household with the oldest parent being 50 increased from $19,700 to $21,200. (Both of these are for dependent students; the tables for independent students are different and also included in the formula guide.)

People often ask about the income protection allowance. For parents’ income, the bigger considerations are the items that are added back to AGI (retirement plan contributions, for example) and the allowances against income (such as for taxes paid). The income protection allowance largely tracks the federal poverty level, but you may be able to make adjustments to your circumstances that increase your allowances or reduce the items you add back.