This month, President Obama announced some significant changes to the FAFSA program starting next year. One of the key changes to be aware of is changing the date when you are able to submit an application. Starting next October, you will be able to file as early as October 1st, as opposed to January 1 under the current rules.
This change allows students and parents to report income information from the prior tax year. with it being very difficult for most people to have current year tax information in January each year, this change should help many by making the process more aligned with the timing of available information.
Below is a link to more details on these changes from the US Dept of Education.