Get ready for a wild Saturday: Oct. 1 is when the 2017-2018 FAFSA will be available. This year it should be considerably easier to complete. Why? Because if you’re eligible– and most people are– you won’t need to manually enter your income data. Instead, you can just link directly to your 2015 tax return via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and simply confirm the numbers. No more collecting W2s and tax returns before filing.


What do you need, if not all this income information?

  • FSA IDs for student and parents (get them here, now.)
  • Asset information including bank, brokerage and 529 account statements
  • Parents’ and student’s Social Security numbers

Remember that asset value is assessed as of the date the FAFSA is filed. If your account balances vary over the course of the month, you’ll want to consider that in deciding when to file. Filing on the date when the value is lowest is the best choice for most people, but not necessarily for everyone.