In Reversal, ED Plans to Reprocess FAFSA Records Impacted by Recent Errors

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) announced in a blog post on Thursday that it plans to automatically reprocess all FAFSA records affected by the April 1 announcement, concerning tax data reported on Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs), in the “first half” of April.

When the department first acknowledged these errors, it initially said it only planned to reprocess affected ISIRs that would be positively impacted by doing so, resulting in a lower Student Aid Index (SAI) and therefore greater aid eligibility for the applicant.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray made the announcement of the reversal in plans in the 2024-25 FAFSA Fast News blog, where department leadership plans to provide regular messages on the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

“In response to feedback from colleges, the Department has decided that it will automatically reprocess all FAFSA records affected by the April 1 announcement, as well as other previously identified issues,” the post reads.

Cordray went on to note that schools will be able to choose which ISIR to use when packaging their financial aid offers, and that the department is encouraging schools “to move forward with the original ISIR to start packaging aid offers as quickly as possible.” However, in a subsequent electronic announcement, ED specified that schools may use the original ISIR only if it resulted in a lower SAI, meaning greater aid eligibility for the student.

Cordray wrote that he will have another update for the 2024-25 FAFSA Fast News blog on Friday morning.

In the electronic announcement, ED provided some additional information and resources from previous announcements to assist schools with reprocessing and highlighted that the department will send additional data to SAIG mailboxes in the coming days.

“Our goal is to allow schools to use the information provided to package financial aid offers as soon as possible so that students receive the financial aid they need to make important education decisions,” the notice reads.

In terms of reprocessing, the notice states each reprocessed record will result in schools and state agencies receiving a subsequent ISIR transaction.

ED also said that it has resolved an issue preventing FAFSA submission when a contributor does not have a Social Security number (SSN), but that applicants can still encounter an error if inaccurate information is entered. If this happens, an applicant will need to wait until the next day, after the department conducts a “nightly data cleanup,” to once again add their contributor.

 

Publication Date: 4/5/2024


Janet R | 4/5/2024 10:18:33 AM

Agree with, we should only be allowed to disburse on correct data.

Sheree T | 4/5/2024 9:19:08 AM

While I am happy that they are going to reprocess all the ISIRs, unless I missed something, the issue with the taxes paid amount being transferred incorrectly has not been addressed in any of these announcements. It was mentioned in the last webinar, but it would be nice to see confirmation that this is one of the issues that they are correcting in a written announcement.

Also, this:
"Cordray went on to note that schools will be able to choose which ISIR to use when packaging their financial aid offers"... "ED specified that schools may use the original ISIR only if it resulted in a lower SAI"...

Allowing schools to disburse awards based on incorrect data because it results in a lower SAI is just not being a good steward of taxpayer funds. Initial awards are one thing, but we should only be allowed to disburse on correct data.

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