Prior-Prior Year

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Get the information you need to successfully prepare for the transition

Beginning in 2016 for the 2017-18 academic year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available earlier — in October rather than January — and will use income information from two years prior to the academic year instead of the previous year.

This shift is commonly referred to as "prior-prior year" (PPY).The College Board's CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE will also use PPY income information for the 2017-18 academic year. Get the information you need to be ready for PPY.

We will be updating this page often, adding guides and webinars to help you successfully prepare for the transition. You can also check out the All Access blog for news and updates from the College Board or email any questions or comments to

This graphic details the Prior-Prior Year Action Plan. Phase 1: Higher Education Professionals. Nov 2015-Mar 2017. Support colleges as they prepare for implementation. Phase 2: Counselors. Apr 2016-Mar 2017. Develop planning tools and supports. Phase 3: Students. May 2016-Mar 2017. Make sure students are ready for PPY.

Information for Colleges

Because these aid application changes go into effect this fall, they require early attention and planning to make sure students receive all the intended benefits. For colleges and universities, the implementation of prior-prior year will affect many things — including policies, operations, and systems.

  • The earlier financial aid application timeline has the potential to affect admission and financial aid deadlines and notifications, as well as student outreach and recruitment activities.
  • A longer financial aid processing window, reduced verification, and application simplification should give financial aid administrators more time for counseling and preparation.
  • Admission offices will likely review their recruitment strategies, yield models, and net tuition revenue planning processes with a careful eye to potential changes in student application behavior.

Information for Counselors

The move to prior-prior year also has broad implications for K–12 professionals, who support students as they plan and prepare for college.

  • The use of prior-prior year income information in the aid application process should allow counselors and access organizations more time to advise students about college affordability.
  • The counseling community may need to share new information and approaches about college costs earlier in the college selection process.

Tools and supports for counselors will be shared as changes to institutional practices and policies develop. Find resources, webinars, workshops and more on our counselor workshops page.

Information for Students and Families

The College Board offers a wide array of college planning tools and guidance for students and families. Learn more about the financial aid application process, how to complete the FAFSA, how to apply for scholarships, and more by visiting or by downloading the free CollegeGo app.