Prior-Prior Year (PPY) Information

What is Prior-Prior Year and How Does It Effect Me?

In the fall of 2017, for the senior class of 2018 this is who will be the first cohort of students affected by this extraordinary change in the financial aid process. 

Two major items will go in effect with the PPY system

  1. Students will be able to file for aid beginning October 1st - This is a full three months earlier than previously allowed and will utilize the previously in place IRS data retrieval for downloading important information directly into your FAFSA.
  2. Applicants will use prior-prior year tax information, hence the name - Previously tax information was utilized from the previous tax year only and within a compressed window. 

PPY will effect you as stated above, but completing the FAFSA is imperative for securing most types of financial aid for colleges and universities.  In additional federal grants and loans, many colleges, states, and scholarship programs use the form to assess eligibility for their aid programs. 

Does Prior-Prior Year Help Students and their Families

The advantages PPY will assist students is in the decision making process.  We posted a YouTube video to help explain the specifics of how PPY is going to change the college going process for those students entering postsecondary educaiton in the 2016-17 school year. 


Frequently Asked Questions about PPY

What do I need to do differently?

To ensure you are in the running for financial aid:

  • Complete the FAFSA using 2016 tax information
  • File your FAFSA as soon as possible. The form becomes available October 1

Who will be affected by the changes?

The Class of 2017 will be the first high school cohort to file the FAFSA on the new timeline using PPY tax data. All returning college students will also submit their applications following the new procedure.

When should I complete the FAFSA?

File the FAFSA as soon as you are able. The federal government awards roughly $150 billion annually to college students through need-based grants, loans, and work-study funds. In addition to determining your eligibility for federal student aid, many colleges and states use the FAFSA when distributing grants. Money is limited in some instances, so don’t delay.  If you file your application late, you run the risk of finding out that certain funds—such as work-study awards—are already gone.

Will other college application deadlines move earlier into the fall?

At this point, it’s too early to tell how or whether changes to the FAFSA will affect the admission application process. What will remain the same is that colleges may not set college application deadlines prior to Oct. 15, nor can they require students to make an enrollment decision prior to May 1 of their senior year (with the exception of Early Decision and Restrictive Early Action).

When will I learn my financial aid eligibility?

Institutional and state deadlines for awarding aid will differ. Hundreds of colleges and universities are expected to provide financial aid packages earlier than in previous years. But not all schools will be on the same timeline.  Despite having earlier access to students’ financial data, colleges may need to estimate awards if state grant totals aren’t approved by legislatures in a timely fashion. Additionally, many colleges don’t finalize tuition for the coming academic year until the spring, a critical piece of information when estimating cost of attendance

Check out NASFAA's (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE.