Sigma’s Response to the Department of Education’s move to Prior-Prior Year Tax Data
October 20, 2015: Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the Department of Education will move to Prior-Prior-Year (PPY) tax data. This move is being made in order to allow students to fill out the FAFSA in October for the following school year. Students will then have reliable and available tax data when they file the FAFSA and will be afforded up to three additional months in order to make decisions about which school to attend. Students applying for aid for the 2017-2018 year will use 2015 tax data, the same data that was used in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Sigma continues to monitor the guidance provided by the Department and will pursue ways to leverage this change to make life simpler for our schools. We have moved our First General Release (1GR) date to October in 2016 and beyond. We have not heard any news regarding the Pell tables release or COD processing so our working assumption is that those dates will be similar to years past. Our Second General Release (2GR) would remain in February and the Pell tables would be incorporated into our packaging and disbursement programs and released within a week or so of when they are made available.
It is likely we would need to add an additional database release since COD specs may not be available when ISIRs are ready to be loaded. We will continue to do everything in our power to minimize the number of database changes given that most schools rely on external resources to perform those updates.
We expect to see the number of Professional Judgments (PJs) increase now that the data will be another year older. If there are any changes to that process that affect Sigma programs, we will react quickly to support them. We’re also checking with our contacts at College Board to see what changes would be made regarding the CSS Profile release for 2017-2018. This is critical for some of our schools and we continue to work with them to accommodate any changes to processing.
As always, we welcome your feedback on this topic. Sigma plans to host a PPY webinar after New Year’s that would allow you to discuss these changes with our staff as well as your colleagues at other institutions. We will let you know via the NASU listserv when we set a date. We will also have staff in attendance at this year’s FSA conference and look forward to hearing of any concerns you may have.