Skip to Content Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois

Renewal FAFSA Process

A student must apply for federal student aid for every school year that she or he attends college.

Students who have an FSA ID, who had a successful match on Social Security number (SSN), name, and date of birth with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provided their e-mail address on the FAFSA in the prior award year are eligible to complete a renewal FAFSA. Students who are renewal-eligible for the 2017-18 award year will be sent a 2017-18 Renewal Reminder e-mail notification between January 16-25, 2017.  A Renewal Reminder in Spanish is sent if a Spanish application or correction was used in the prior year.

In past years, the renewal FAFSA was pre-populated with certain data from the previous year’s application. In 2017-18, the renewal FAFSA will not be pre-populated with data from the 2016-17 FAFSA because there are too many instances where pre-populating would result in incorrect information being included on the 2017-18 application (e.g., changes to dependency status, changes to marital status, professional judgement). Most 2017-18 applicants who have filed an IRS tax return will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to import their 2015 income and tax information directly from the IRS to their 2017-18 FAFSA. Using the IRS DRT is fast and an accurate way to input income and tax information into the FAFSA. In addition, using the IRS DTR will dramatically reduce the likelihood that the applicant will be selected for Verification.

Remind applicants to contact the financial aid office with any questions about the renewal process and deadlines, and that it is helpful to review and complete the FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) worksheet (English or Spanish) before filing the Renewal FAFSA. Similarly to submitting a FAFSA for the first time, the Renewal FAFSA should be signed with the student’s FSA ID (and by the parent with their own FSA ID if the student is a dependent) and the confirmation page should be printed. Applicants can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for answers to questions about filing the Renewal FAFSA.