Carnegie Mellon University

Prior-Prior Year (PPY) / Early FAFSA

October 02, 2017

Prior-Prior Year (PPY) / Early FAFSA


federal government decision requires students and families completing a FAFSA to use tax information from two years prior to the academic year, as opposed to one year prior. This shift, commonly referred to as Prior-Prior Year (PPY) or Early FAFSA, has also been adopted by the College Board for those completing the CSS PROFILE. 

Why is This a Positive Change?

Using tax information from two years prior to the academic year ensures that most families will have filed taxes before applying for financial aid. Families will be able to use actual tax information, rather than estimated, when completing the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE. Families have the ability to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing the FAFSA, which allows for automatic transfer of tax information to a student’s FAFSA.

What CMU Students Can Expect

Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, students wishing to apply for financial aid at Carnegie Mellon:

  • May submit a FAFSA earlier. Students will be able to file a 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. Completion of the FAFSA will also be simplified for families who use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), AND
  • Are required to use earlier tax information. When completing a 2017-2018 FAFSA and CSS PROFILE, students will report tax information from the 2015 tax year.
If you plan to apply for financial aid for... 
You will use tax information from... 
You may submit the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE as early as... 
Carnegie Mellon's preferred timeframe for FAFSA and CSS PROFILE submission is... 
Carnegie Mellon will begin awarding financial aid on or after... 
2017-2018 Academic Year 2015 10/1/2016

First-year students: 11/1/2016 - 2/15/2017

Returning students: 1/1/2017 - 4/15/2017

First-year students: March 2017

Returning students: mid-May 2017

2018-2019 Academic Year 2016 10/1/2017

First-year students: 11/1/2017 - 2/15/2018

Returning students: 11/1/2017 - 4/15/2018

First-year students: March 2018

Returning students: mid-May 2018

2019-2020 Academic Year 2017 10/1/2018 This information will be updated in Spring 2018.  This information will be updated in Spring 2018.