The 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) season will begin earlier than previous FAFSA application cycles. Beginning on October 1, 2016, students will be able to fill out the FAFSA for the 2017–2018 school year. (In the past, they had to wait until January 1st). In addition, applicants will no longer need to estimate income and tax information and will be able to retrieve their data (and parents' too, if required) directly from the IRS, right from the first day the FAFSA is available. Students also will have information about their Expected Family Contributions earlier, helping them as they’re going through the college application and selection process.
For more information please access the U.S. Department of Education FAFSA Changes for 2017-18 web page.
You may also review and download the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-18 FAFSA Talking Points and/or Changes Impacting the 2017–18 FAFSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
If you are accessing this web page on, or after, October 1st you may complete your FAFSA today! Just go to www.fafsa.gov.
"Likely Suspension of 2017-18 MAP Award Announcements
As has been the case in recent years, it is likely that the suspension of 2017-18 MAP award announcements will need to be implemented early in the processing cycle. Because the process of identifying a specific suspense date has become more challenging as the state’s financial condition has worsened – and, now factoring in the earlier availability of the FAFSA – the degree to which ISAC’s staff can provide advance notice regarding suspension may be diminished. While we will continue to make every effort to keep colleges informed, there may not be sufficient time to alert students regarding the suspense date once it has been officially announced. As a result, it is strongly recommended that colleges encourage students to submit the 2017-18 FAFSA as soon as possible after it becomes available on October 1, 2016."
In other words, if you want to qualify for MAP it would behoove you to file your FAFSA on, or within a few days of, October 1st in order to establish your eligibility for the 2017-18 award year.