Prior Prior Year FAQs

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

When filing the 2020 – 2021 FAFSA, students use their 2018 tax year information. Students may file as early as October 1, 2019 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

What are the advantages to using prior, prior year?

When filing the FAFSA, in order to file by deadlines established for time sensitive programs, students do not have 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 is a service offered within the FAFSA process which allows automatic population of the FAFSA with tax return data. This also decreases the need for additional documentation to verify accuracy.

It can be used by almost all students and families, 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. Families who have parent’s filing separate returns may not use it, foreign returns are not eligible and there are some other instances when data retrieval will not be an option. If an amended return was filed, the data retrieved will be from the original tax return and you will need to provide the FAO a signed copy of the amended return.

Is my data secure?

The IRS provides encrypted information so the actual data does not show. What will appear on the FAFSA is the phrase ‘TRANFER FROM IRS’ so you will know the data retrieval has been successful but the actual numbers will not appear insuring security of transfer.

May A Student Choose Which Year They Use To File The 2020-2021 FAFSA?

No. The FAFSA will request the 2018 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 December 2019 for incoming freshman, January 2020 for returning full time undergraduates and May 2020 for part-time undergraduate and post baccalaureate students. Online programs will begin in June 2020.

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
Fall 2019/Spring 2020/Summer 2020 2019-2020 October 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020 2017
Fall 2020/Spring 2021/Summer 2021 2020-2021 October 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021 2018


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

Visit and remember, as you fill out your FAFSA at, 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 February. Those filing between February 1 and April 1 will be placed on a Waiting List, funds depending on appropriations and the number of eligible applicants.   Funding prior February 1 will be guaranteed, funding; after February 1 will not.

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?

2020-2021 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 Current
Student’s or parents’ marital status As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA Current
Dependency status questions Dates provided in the questions Current
Household size 2020-2021 award year, as known when the applicant signs the FAFSA Current
Number in college 2020-2021 award year, as known when the applicant signs the FAFSA 2020 FAFSA
Receipt of federally means-tested benefits Dates provided in the questions Current
Balance of cash, checking and savings accounts As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA Current
Investment net worth As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA Current
Business/Investment farm net worth As of the date the applicant signs the FAFSA Current
Tax Information-Parent & Student Tax Year 2018 PPY
Untaxed Income from Tax Return Tax Year 2018 PPY