By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter
The Department of Education (ED) announced on Wednesday that it would be making temporary changes to the verification process for the 2022-23 award year, as a means of providing relief to students and reducing existing barriers to enrollment for millions of low-income students who need access to financial aid.
“We are maintaining verification requirements that strictly focus on identity and fraud for the remainder of the 2022-2023 award year and waiving the remaining verification requirements,” ED wrote in the notice detailing the waiver announcement.
While institutions maintain the discretion to select students for verification, ED urges schools to consider amending their policies to limit their usage in order to offer relief to families during the ongoing national emergency.
“Financial aid administrators across the country will put these waivers to good use, and as they did last year, will fast track financial aid dollars to students who are otherwise mired in bureaucratic red tape,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “We look forward to future changes to the FAFSA that should decrease the need for verification. But until those legislative changes are fully implemented, these waivers are an operational must."
ED also indicated that it would continue to review federal verification processes and consider potential long-term adjustments to ensure equity and reduce burdens on students and institutions of higher education.
Publication Date: 5/19/2022
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