Even if you've already read that PPY will take effect on October 1, 2016, you may have questions about what this change really means for you, your parents, and your college search. We'll address some of those questions here... and for those who don't yet know what PPY stands for, this is your place to start.
What is Prior-Prior Year (PPY)?
It's the plan President Obama put in place that allows college-bound students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1 every year, rather than January 1. If you're planning to enroll in college in Fall 2017, you'll submit the FAFSA on October 1 of this year, using information from 2015. (See this helpful chart.)
Why does this matter?
Because this change to the FAFSA requires income and tax information from the prior-prior year (in this case, 2015), the tax information you enter will already be complete and correct, so you won't have to estimate or update the information later.
Another benefit is the potential to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA.
Finally, the earlier you submit your FAFSA, the faster you'll receive your Student Aid Report (SAR), and the more time you'll have to evaluate your award and apply for additional aid options, if necessary. Take a look at Becker's scholarships and grants.
Will I receive financial aid packages from schools earlier?
Not necessarily, although some schools may choose to distribute financial aid awards once they have received your federal student aid report. Even if you will not receive your financial aid package earlier, submitting your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 will speed up this important part of your college search and give you ample time to compare all of your options.
What if the schools I'm applying to change?
If you already know which schools you're applying to, list their codes when filling out the FAFSA (Becker's is 002123.) If your list changes, log onto the FAFSA site to update your list and have your report sent to the proper schools.
Read our answers to the most frequently asked financial aid questions. Then, contact us to talk more about making a Becker education affordable for you and your family.