IRS, Education Department Turn Off Tool in Financial-Aid Application on Fears of Data Breach

"Concerns about a potential security breach have prompted the federal government to shut down a key link in the website current and prospective college students use to apply for financial aid, complicating efforts by millions of students to file for assistance," The Wall Street Journal reports.

"The link, which appears on the U.S. Education Department’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Fafsa) and allows students to automatically download information from their—or their parents—tax returns, stopped working last week and will be unavailable “for several weeks,” the Education Department said Thursday.

Nearly 20 million people filed a Fafsa in 2015-16. In 2014-15, 5.2 million people used the link, called the data retrieval tool, to download their Internal Revenue Service tax data. ...

Justin Draeger, the president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said the link had been broken since Friday but the federal government had not explained what was happening.

'For students applying to traditional four-year schools, now is the time they complete the Fafsa and find out to what extent the school can issue an award,' said Mr. Draeger. 'It’s going to be pretty stressful if they don’t know how they’re going to pay for tuition, room and board this fall.'"

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: 3/10/2017

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