No, that's correct. The FAFSA uses tax information for 2 years prior, so for the 2018/19 FAFSA, you would use the 2016 tax return. It used to be that the FAFSA wasn't available until Jan 1, but last year the Dept. of Education moved it back to Oct. 1 so students who were applying for college during the fall could receive a financial aid package earlier. If you apply during the period from October - December, you wouldn't know what your income from that year would be because the year wouldn't be over yet. For example, if you applied for the 2018/19 FAFSA on October 1, 2017 when it first became available, you wouldn't have tax info for 2017 yet because the year hadn't ended. So, to solve that problem, the FASFA now uses tax information for the last full year available: 2016. This is actually a big improvement because in the past many students used estimated information because their parents hadn't yet filed their return. This led to a lot of errors and many students being selected for verification, which increased the burden on financial aid departments and seriously delayed getting aid. With the new system, everyone should have already filed their tax return. That means that most students can use the Data Retrieval Tool to import their tax information directly onto the FAFSA, which improves accuracy and decreases the number of students who have to go through the verification process. In most cases, students benefit from this because usually income goes up, so in most cases, a student will get more aid, not less, as a result. However, the system does recognize that there are cases where a family's income may have gone down since filing the 2016 return due to things like unemployment, retirement, divorce, etc. So, there is a process called Professional Judgment that allows a financial aid administrator at your school to adjust your FAFSA to more accurately represent your current situation. It doesn't always result in more aid because even though your income has been reduced, it may still be too high to qualify for grant aid. However, if there has been significant change in your family's income since 2016, contact your school and they will work with you to make any necessary adjustments.