You’re More Likely to Have Your FAFSA Verified Than to Have Your Taxes Audited—Here’s Why

"Current and prospective college students can now complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, for their share of $150 billion in federal student aid — including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study — for the 2022-2023 school year," CNBC reports. 

..."'Anywhere from 17 million to 21 million postsecondary students complete the FAFSA annually,” reads a new report titled “The Burden of Proof: Impact of and Solutions for FAFSA Verification' by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and the National College Attainment Network (NCAN). 'A significant portion of these students cannot receive their aid without completing an additional, lengthy process called verification to confirm that their FAFSA is accurate.'”

..."'The Department of Education cited as justification for their 18% selection rate that they conducted a cost-benefit analysis and determined that the cost of performing verification exceeds the benefits when it selects more than 18% of FAFSA filers,' says Jill Desjean, policy analyst for NASFAA. 'The IRS audit rate is much lower (less than 1%), but I don’t know their justification for that rate.'”

..."To avoid what can be a burdensome FAFSA verification process, Desjean says students should create lines of communication with their college’s financial aid offices.

'Students should complete the FAFSA accurately and ask the financial aid office if they’re having trouble with answering any of the questions,' she says. 'The same is true if they are selected for verification. They should pay attention to deadlines for institutional and state financial aid, since those vary. And if their circumstances have changed since they completed the FAFSA, or since the tax year the FAFSA applies to, they should reach out to the financial aid office for the possibility of a revision to their financial aid eligibility.'"

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 11/19/2021

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