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Financial Aid Changes

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2017-2018 FAFSA Changes

On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process that will impact millions of students. Starting with the 2017­–18 application cycle, the following changes will be put in place: 

Students will be able to submit a FAFSA earlier.  Students will be able to file a 2017–2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. 

Students will use earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–2018 FAFSA, students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–2018 FAFSA, students will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.  

Changes Effective as of 7/1/2012

In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74) which significantly affected the federal financial aid programs.

Ability to Benefit

Students who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012 MUST have a high school diploma or its equivalent or meet the home schooled requirements or passed the GED to be eligible for financial aid.

Federal Pell Grant

Effective July 1, 2012, students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Federal Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Federal Pell Grant. The percentages are based off the annual award at fulltime enrollment status. For students with an annual award for 2011-2012 academic year, attending 12 or more credits in each semesters (Fall and Spring for example), the percentage used for the 2011-2012 academic year is 100%. If you only attended 9 credits for two semesters, your percentage used for the academic year would be 75%. You may view your percentage of Federal Pell Grant used by logging into . Your 'Lifetime Eligibility Used' percentage will be displayed in the 'Grants' section.

Stafford Loans

Students who receive subsidized Stafford Loans on or after July 1, 2012 and prior to July 1, 2014, must pay interest that accrues during the grace period. If not paid, the accrued interest will be capitalized (added to the principal of the loan).


To receive financial aid, federal law requires that applicants who are selected for verification must use the IRS Data Transfer. Students and parents who are unsuccessful in completing the IRS Data Transfer in FAFSA on the Web must provide IRS Tax Transcript. Transcripts are available from the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or online at Federal Tax Returns (1040) are no longer acceptable documentation for verification purposes.

Automatic Zero EFC

Public Law 112-74 amended HEA section 479 (c) to reduce the income threshold for an automatic zero expected family contribution (EFC) from $30,000 to $23,000 for the 2012-13 award year for both dependent and independent students.

The following are state related changes effective July 1, 2012:

Board of Governor's Fee Waiver Program

The minimum need to qualify for a BOG C will change from $1 to $1,104 effective July 1, 2012.

Need is determined by this formula: Cost of Attendance (COA) MINUS Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need

Enrollment Fee Increase

Beginning summer 2012, enrollment fees for California residents will increase to $46 per unit. If you have further questions, please call the Financial Aid Office at (818) 947-2412 or send us an email at