The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - College Planning & Financial Aid

Can I Submit My Financial Aid Application Before January 1st ?

The financial need analysis process for financial aid uses your family's income, assets and tax information from the most recent tax year. This is called the base year. It is used to evaluate your eligibility for need based financial aid during the upcoming academic year This is called the award year. Since the "base year" ends December 31st, you cannot submit a financial aid application until January 1. Your parents may earn a year-end bonus or realize huge capital losses from selling stocks before December 31st. Financial aid applications sent before January 1st will be rejected.

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