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Prior-Prior Year

Prior-What?

If you plan to come to BCC, you need to know about 2 changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is the form that every U.S. college student needs to fill out in order to be eligible for any need-based financial aid which includes federal grants, loans, and work-study jobs as well as scholarships and grants from the state and BCC.

Change #1

You can now submit the 2018-2019 FAFSA as early as October 1. The FAFSA-filing deadline for Massachusetts residents will remain May 1, but it’s best to get the form in early because most aid is awarded on a first-come, first- served basis.

Change #2

The FAFSA asks for financial information reported on your/your parents’ federal tax return(s). Now you can base your answers on your return from the previous year. This new policy is referred to as “prior-prior year.” You’ll be able to use your 2016 federal tax returns this year, and you won’t have to go back and update your form next spring when you file taxes again.

Don't Miss Out!

These changes aim to make the whole financial aid process a bit easier by allowing you to report known income and tax information instead of estimating (fewer mistakes!) and by informing you about your awards earlier which will give you more time to plan for college costs.

You could miss out on getting the most money if you wait to apply!

SUBMIT YOUR FAFSA

Steps & FAQs

Where do I start?
Go to fafsa.ed.gov. If this is your first time filling out the form, you’ll have to create an FSA ID. This basically acts as your user name and password for each year you apply — so don’t forget it.

What documents will I need?
Yours and your parents’ Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, federal tax returns, W-2 forms, and current bank and investment statements.

Does applying cost any money?
No, it’s free. Don’t get duped into paying for a service that helps you fill out the form.

My family is middle class. Should I still apply?
Yes. There’s no income cap. And if you don’t apply, you won’t be able to get any financial aid including loans and many scholarships.

What is the deadline?
To qualify for up to $1,100 more, file your FAFSA by March 15, 2018; and complete all additional paperwork requirements by May 1, 2018 (financial aid application deadline for Mass. residents). 

I filled out the FAFSA last year. Do I have to do it again?
Yes. You have to resubmit the FAFSA with updated financial information each year you’re going to college.

My parents are divorced. Do I list both of their incomes?
No. The parent you live with the most is the one you’ll report financial information about. If that parent is remarried, you must include his or her income, too.

When do I find out how much money I’ll get?
Your financial aid award notice will be sent to you from the college.

Need help?

Sign up for a FAFSA Workshop, call, email, or stop by our Financial Aid office.

Financial Aid Office
1350 West Street
Pittsfield MA 01201

Phone: (413) 236-1644
Email: finaid@berkshirecc.edu