Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA students and parents will use their earlier year (also referred to as “prior-prior year”) tax information. For example, the 2017-2018 FAFSA will use 2015 tax information and the 2018-2019 FAFSA will use 2016 tax information.
By requiring the use of earlier year (also referred to as “prior-prior year”) tax information, students and parents will no longer need to complete the FAFSA based on estimated tax information to then later return to the FAFSA to enter the actual information. Because the tax filing deadline and tax extension deadline will have passed prior to the FAFSA deadline of July 1, all students and parents will have already filed.
Note: The 2017-2018 FAFSA will be the only year that the same tax information will be used two years consecutively. The 2016-2017 FAFSA also used 2015 tax information.
Early, Early Estimate awards for 2017-2018 will be based on a Forecasted Cost of Attendance (COA) which uses the 2016-2017 tuition and fee rates and estimated cost for other direct and indirect educational expenses. Loan amounts will be based on the student’s current class level and annual limits. HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship awards will also be based on 2016-2017 per credit hour rates.
HOPE eligibility for current high school seniors will be based on end of the 11th grade status as reported by their high school during the Forecasting period. This information will be updated in early Spring 2017 based on preliminary reporting of the high school to the HOPE Office.
Final awards will be based on updated information for 2017-2018 to reflect actual costs as well as new or changing federal and state aid program regulations.
October 1 – Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online at www.fafsa.gov and is recommended for all students interested in federal aid including HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship.
Late November through February – “Early, Early Estimate” Awards for all students that have completed the FAFSA application process. Look for a “Early, Early Estimate” Award email from the GC Financial Aid Office. Instructions for accessing the award information and explanations will be included.
March 1 to May – “Early Estimate” Awards for all students that have completed the FAFSA application process. Look for an award email from the GC Financial Aid Office. Instructions for accessing the award information will be included.
June – Official award notifications will be made and students will be notified via email.
July 1 – Fall semester “soft” deadline for completion of all financial aid forms. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
November 1 – Spring semester “soft” deadline for completion of all financial aid forms. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
April 1 – Summer semester “soft” deadline for completion of all financial aid forms. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
Students must submit complete financial aid applications to be considered for aid. Some programs have a limited supply of funds. Please note that this is not a guarantee of funds availability but rather a timeframe based on previous history. All limited-funded programs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Students must submit complete financial aid applications by these dates in order to use financial aid funds to pay for the semester's bill. Students whose files are not complete by this date should be prepared to pay costs until applications are processed and eligibility is determined.
Particular programs may have stricter deadlines. Examples would be HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship and Dual Enrollment. Specific dates and/or deadlines for various aid types that deviate from the above timeline are denoted on our website in the explanation of those particular programs.
The FAFSA asks for marital status “as of today” (the day it is filled out). So if you or your parent are married now but were not in 2015 (and therefore did not file taxes as married), the spouse’s income will need to be added to the FAFSA.
Similarly, if you or your parent filed 2015 taxes as married but are no longer married when filling out the FAFSA, the spouse’s income will need to be subtracted.
And if you or your parent were married when filing 2015 taxes, then got divorced and are now married to someone else, there’s a bit more math to do: Subtract the ex’s income, then add the new spouse’s income.