24 Apr 2018-2019 Financial Aid Application Announcements

by Stacey Musulin, Assistant Director, CT State Colleges & Universities

On April 17, 2017 Federal Student Aid (FSA) published a draft 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) Changes include allowing applicants who report filing an amended 2016 return to use the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), which will import the originally-filed information. An indicator will allow FSAs to see that the amended return was reported, so that additional information (1040x) may be collected in case FSA selects the application for verification.

For a summary of the 2018-2019 FAFSA enhancements, go to the Supporting Statements site. Additionally, an Electronic Announcement on May 3, 2017 indicated that the IRS DRT will be available for 2018-2019 FAFSA completion, but will not allow users to review the transferred information prior to importing it into their FAFSAs.

Important Reminder: The IRS DRT is not able to be used for the completion of the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 FAFSAs. Due to a security breach, the IRS and FSA announced on March 30th that the IRS DRT would be “offline under the start of the next FAFSA season.” For more information, including options for those seeking to use the IRS DRT for FAFSA and Income-Drive Repayment (IDR) applications, refer to the online announcement. On April 24, 2017, the Department of Education revised the documentation requirements for documentation of income and tax information for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 verification to allow for the use of signed 2015 IRS Tax Returns. Refer to Dear Colleague Letter GEN 17-04 for details.

Interested parties may send comments on the draft 2018-2019 FAFSA via the Federal eRulemaking Portal by clicking the “Comment Now” button on Docket ID number ED-2017-ICCD-0044.

Last week, FSA reported that students & parent borrowers will be able to receive FSA ID account information via text, beginning Sunday, May 14th.  This includes resetting passwords, receiving usernames, and unlocking accounts. The option to receive info via email still exists. New users will be prompted to register for text messaging when creating their FSA ID accounts. Existing users should log into the FSA ID website to adopt the “SMS/text messaging feature” if they wish to use this new functionality.