What is Prior-Prior Year (PPY)?

“Prior-Prior Year” refers to a change in the income information that you will put on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA. Previously, students have been required to provide the most recent tax information on their FAFSA. For example, the 2015-16 FAFSA required 2014 income data and the 2016-17 FAFSA required 2015 income data. With the 2017-18 FAFSA, the 2015 income data will be required again. And, from now on, the family’s prior-prior year's income data is required on the FAFSA.    

Why use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

With this change to PPY on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, the income data needs to be accurate and consistent between both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 FAFSA applications. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to the following: federal tax return type, filing status, adjusted gross income, income tax paid, exemption number, education credits, need-based employment, other untaxed income, pension payments, IRA payments, interest income, IRA distributions and untaxed pensions. Some data, however, may be different on the 2016-17 and 2017-18 FAFSA applications: number in household, number in college, marital status, demographic information, child support received and child support paid. 

The change to PPY may result in conflicting income information or discrepancies in the income data between the two application years. If so, the Financial Aid Office must resolve these immediately. Unfortunately, this could result in a negative aid adjustment and loss of funding in both your 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 financial aid awards. 

In order to prevent this from happening, we recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool IMMEDIATELY on your 2016-2017 FAFSA! We also recommend that you use the IRS  DRT when completing your 2017-18 FAFSA.  For assistance on how to revise or complete your FAFSA using the IRS DTR, go to http://www.irsdataretrievaltool.com/irs-data-retrieval-tool-step-by-step-instructions.

How Conflicting Information Could Impact You

The following are examples on how conflicting income information or a data discrepancy between your 2016-2017 FAFSA and your 2017-2018 FAFSA could cause significant changes in your financial aid awards and your bill with the University: 

1. First Example: On your 2016-2017 FAFSA, you estimated your 2015 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) at $62,000. On your 2017-18 FAFSA, your 2015 AGI is listed at $64,286. Since there is a discrepancy, the Financial Aid Office is required to determine the correct AGI and ensure that the correct AGI is reported on both your 2016-17 and 2017-18 FAFSA’s. The result in making the necessary changes is that your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is increased and your 2016-17 Federal Pell Grant is reduced in the middle of the school year. So, if the student previously had $3,865 of Pell Grant and the Expected Family Contribution increased by $1,000, then the Pell Grant would be lowered to approximately $2,865 and you would have a balance due of $1,000 on your student account.  

2. Second Example: On your 2016-2017 FAFSA, you estimated your 2015 AGI at $49,999 with federal taxes paid at $10,500. On your 2017-2018, your actual 2015 AGI was $65,501 with federal taxes paid at $4,578. Per federal aid regulations, we must resolve these discrepancies and make the necessary changes to your 2016-2017 FAFSA. After verifying that your 2017-2018 FAFSA income information is correct, we make the adjustments on your 2016-2017 FAFSA. The result is that your EFC goes from $0 to $5,300 and we have to cancel both your $5,815 Federal Pell Grant and your $200 FSEOG Grant. Worse yet, you now owe the University $6,015.

Our goal is to help students and families to avoid these potential problems. So, USE THE IRS DRT ON BOTH YOUR  2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA NOW!

If you have any questions regarding PPY, DRT, financial aid regulations or need any help in completing/correcting your FAFSA, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 724-852-3208 or finaid@waynesburg.edu