This guidance is specific to the 2024-25 award year and later.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has consistently said the FAFSA is considered complete and submitted on the date that all contributors (student, spouse, parent as applicable) complete and submit their sections, not when the student starts the FAFSA and not on the date the student completes/submits just their own section. The date that all contributors have completed and submitted their sections is the Application Receipt Date on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) even if the school's financial aid management system (FAMS) calls it something else.
This date is important for schools that use a priority deadline to award/offer institutional funds. For example, the school's FAFSA priority filing date is March 1. If the student's FAFSA is received by the FAFSA Processing System (FPS, formerly Central Processing System) by March 1, the student is in the pool of students considered for those institutional funds.
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