FAFSA Data Breach Hearing Produces Drama on Hill

"Republican lawmakers excoriated IRS and U.S. Department of Education officials as 'incompetent' or 'untruthful' Wednesday at a lengthy hearing on a security breach that led to the shutdown of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool — an online tool known as the DRT that makes it easier for students to apply for federal financial aid and student loans," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.
 
"Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said in written testimony the DRT outage 'harms students and families in multiple ways, making the FAFSA more difficult to complete, making more students subject to verification, and leaving families with fewer available financial aid office resources for help navigating the financial aid process.' ...
 
'Perhaps most troubling is the fact that this situation could have been avoided with better decision-making in September 2016, when the potential for abuse of the DRT was first identified,' Draeger said.
 
'The IRS and ED could have been working to implement security enhancements for the past six months that would have prevented not only the DRT outage but also the fraudulent activity ultimately identified in March 2017.'"
 
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Publication Date: 5/4/2017

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