The FAFSA is the most important form regarding student financial aid; the most important part of that form is the self-reported income data.
Students are encouraged to submit the form as early as possible because some forms of aid are limited and are distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. Therefore, early access to income data is crucial. Policy experts have argued that allowing students to submit earlier data, called prior-prior year (PPY), would make filing the FAFSA easier.
To address concerns about PPY and how it might affect student aid eligibility, the National Association for Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) analyzed more than 70,000 students records over five years.
The video below discusses findings from the NASFAA report "A tale of Two Income Years: Comparing Prior-Prior Year and Prior Year Through Pell Grant Awards."