Prior Prior Year FAQs

What is meant by prior, prior year (PPY)?

In the past when filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) students used the calendar year that just ended (e.g. in 2016 which begins with fall 2016, the 2015 calendar year is the tax year that was used). For 2017 (beginning FA2017) rather than the 2016 tax year, you will use the prior, prior year or 2015 again.

Are there other differences with completing the 2017 FAFSA?

Yes. In past years, students could not submit a FAFSA until January 1. Beginning with the 2017 academic year, student may file the FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016 – three months earlier.

What are the advantages to using prior, prior year?

In the past, when filing the FAFSA, in order to file by deadlines established for time sensitive programs, students had to use estimated numbers and then correct them when the tax return is filed in April. Since you will be using a tax year for which the deadline has already come and gone (even the extension deadline), the numbers will be actual and there will be no need to change.

Another advantage is the service the Internal Revenue provides called Data Retrieval. When filing the FAFSA, students may select the Data Retrieval option to provide the answers from the Federal tax return. This will both automatically draw the appropriate tax information into the FAFSA populating the fields with the correct corresponding data and cut down on potential corrections, verifications and award adjustments.

What is Data Retrieval (DRT) and why should I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows automatic population of a student’s FAFSA with tax return data and decreases the need for additional documentation. It can be used by millions more students and families under PPY, since tax data from two-years prior would be readily available upon application. It cuts down on the need to make corrections to the completed FAFSA which, in turn, reduces the need to adjust already packaged aid.

May a student choose which year they use to file the 2017 FAFSA?

No.   The FAFSA will request prior-prior year income information for all applicants.

Will I receive aid offers earlier if I apply earlier?

Maryville hopes to begin packaging awards for full time, undergraduate students in mid- November of 2016 and early May for part-time undergraduate and post baccalaureate students.

Which FAFSA should I complete and which tax year information should I be using based on my start time?

When a Student is Attending College (By Term) You will Submit this FAFSA When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA (Deadline) Which Year’s Income Information is Required
Summer 2016 2015-2016 June 30, 2016 2014
Fall 2016/Spring 2017/Summer 2017 2016-2017 January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 2015
Fall 2017/Spring 2018/Summer 2018 2017-2018 October 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018 2015
Fall 2018/Spring 2019/Summer 2019 2018-2019 October 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019 2016


Where can I get more information about and help with the FAFSA for 2017?

Visit studentaid.gov/fafsa and remember, as you fill out your FAFSA at fafsa.gov, you can refer to help text for every question and/or (during certain times of day) chat online with a customer service representative.

Fill out your FAFSA

How will this impact my Missouri State funding? 

The State of Missouri will give preference to Missouri filers who complete their FAFSA between October 1 and January 15. Those filing between January 16 and April 1 will be placed on a Waiting List, funds depending on appropriations and the number of eligible applicants.   Funding prior to January 15 will be guaranteed, funding after January 15 will not.

Are there financial aid programs that will not be included in financial aid packages because of the earlier filing?

Congress and the Department of Education may not have established Pell Grant amounts or the level of funding available for SEOG (supplemental grant) and College Work Study. Maryville will use current funding levels and make adjustments to awards when these funding levels are made available in February 2017.

Athletic Scholarships for returning students are never available for inclusion on the award letter until after the close of the spring semester. That will not change. Funding based on campus housing is not included on a student’s award until housing releases campus housing assignments in late May. This will not change for 2017.

I am a part time student. Why is my award going to be packaged later than the full time students? 

Full time students are competing for funds from programs which are not available to part time students. Also, full time students seldom take summer classes while part time students often take advantage of a trimester schedule taking summer classes and using summer aid. Since this would affect aid for the next fall, packaging before a summer award is known would require a revision. Rather than packaging and then having to change, we will wait until summer funding is determined and then begin packaging for the next academic year.

What data elements will require current data rather than prior, prior year data?

2017-18 FAFSA
Data Element
Timeframe Used to Provide Information Is this a change?
Student demographic information (e.g. name, address, phone, citizenship) As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA No
Student’s or parents’ marital status As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA No
Dependency status questions Dates provided in the questions No
Household size 2017-18 award year, as known when the applicant signs the FAFSA No
Number in college 2017-18 award year, as known when the applicant signs the FAFSA No
Receipt of federally means-tested benefits Dates provided in the questions No
Balance of cash, checking and savings accounts As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA No
Investment net worth As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA No
Business/Investment farm net worth As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA No