As Fafsa Tool Outage Continues, Lawmakers Investigate Why It Happened

"The Internal Revenue Service’s data-retrieval tool will be back online for borrowers in income-driven repayment plans by the end of the month, James W. Runcie, chief operating officer of the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office, told a U.S. House committee on Wednesday. But he offered no respite to those who would like to use the tool to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the Fafsa, as it will continue to be offline, for them, until October," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
"Some legislators on the committee argued a different point, echoing the written statement of Justin S. Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'Perhaps most troubling' about the current status of the tool, he argued, '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.'
Why, they asked, was something not done sooner?...
But the tool’s outage has created untold problems for those who rely on it, despite steps by the department to relieve some of the burden on students and families.
'While the IRS was able to identify 100,000 individuals impacted by the data theft, it may not be possible to measure the impact of the DRT outage on students who may have missed a financial-aid deadline or never even completed a financial-aid application because of this issue,' wrote Mr. Draeger."
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Publication Date: 5/5/2017

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