First thank you for all the time and effort you put into SurvivalBlog. I am
a daily reader and have found it very helpful in my prepping journey.
As part of that journey, I have learned that I cannot take a lot of
“insider” information at face value. I work to find sources to verify it or
at least review the original source of information. We should all do that.
In response to the 19 September article, Letter:Proof the Economy Will Get Worse, From the Dept. of Ed., I reviewed the link the writer posted to the FAFSA announcement. The original FAFSA announcement provides critical information that the writer of the article apparently failed to notice. That is that beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA form the date of availability for the form changes from January 1, for example;January 1, 2017, to October 1st of the year before. So, using the 2017-2018form as an example, it will be available on October 1, 2016. Here is the exact statement from the Dept. of Education site: Beginning with the 2017–18application, the FAFSA will be available to students and families October 1 of the previous year.
While one could certainly read all types of theories into this the most evident one is this; with the form now being available for completion and submission on October 1, there is no way that the submitter would have tax returns available for, in this example 2016, as W-2 forms cannot go out before the end of the tax year and must go out by January 31 of the next year. So,2016 tax forms cannot go out before 2016 is over, thus the FAFSA submitter has no choice but to use 2015 tax returns. Unless of course they want to wait four months until they have their 2016 W2 and have completed their tax return. I suspect the Dept. of Education moved up the form release date from 01 January to 01 October to help facilitate the timely processing of FAFSA forms. Yes, I know, hard to believe our government could do anything to improve efficiency!!
I find this to be the most sensible explanation for this change in tax form requirements for the FAFSA form beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA form.
Hopefully, this response to that article will encourage my fellow readers to“trust but verify”. Many pieces of poor or just plain wrong bits of information or insights have been given out with good intentions. – JSD