Filing for Federal College Aid Without an I.R.S. Shortcut

"For years, the annual chore of completing a crucial financial aid form for college has been eased by a handy digital tool that automatically transfers a family's tax return data into the online form," The New York Times reports. "But the Internal Revenue Service, citing concerns about identity theft, has taken its 'data retrieval tool' offline, and it is likely to remain unavailable for weeks, the agency said in a joint statement with the Education Department."

"That raises many concerns, student advocates say, since we are now in the middle of the filing season for Fafsa — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid — and the lack of this tool may discourage some students from submitting the form. Students may still complete the form online without the data tool, but they must manually enter financial information from their family’s tax returns.

The Fafsa is the gateway not only to federal financial assistance, but also to aid offered by many states and colleges. Financial aid advisers have encouraged use of the data tool since it first became available, as a way to simplify an often daunting process.

... Justin Draeger, chief executive of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said the group was urging the Education Department to take steps, like easing the criteria used to select forms for verification, to avoid a backlog in the processing of student aid."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.

 

Publication Date: 3/16/2017

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