What is Prior Prior?

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 FALL 2017) 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?

William Peace University hopes to begin packaging awards for new full time, undergraduate students in mid- November to beginning of December of 2016 and early January for full time current, undergraduate 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 FAFSAWhen a Student Can Submit a FAFSA (Deadline)Which Year’s Income Information is Required


Summer 2016




June 30, 2016



Fall 2016/Spring 2017/Summer 20172016-2017January 1, 2016 – June 30, 20172015
Fall 2017/Spring 2018/Summer 20182017-2018October 1, 2016 – June 30, 20182015
Fall 2018/Spring 2019/Summer 20192018-2019October 1, 2017 – June 30, 20192016
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.