In early March, the U.S. Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service halted the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, commonly used by students and parents to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to automatically populate FAFSA fields with federal tax information.
The decision was made due to security concerns, the agencies said in a joint statement (found here). On March 30, they announced that the tool will not be available “until extra security protections can be added” to the tool and that students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season. Department of Education officials assure families and students that, despite issues with the IRS tool, the FAFSA application is safe and remains available online.
The U-M Office of Financial Aid makes the following recommendations to U-M students who are applying for aid for 2017-18:
Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said although disappointed about the IRS tool outage, “it is important that students and parents know that they can still complete and submit the FAFSA. Though the DRT outage may add an extra layer of complexity to the financial aid application process, it should not derail parents and students from applying for funds to help them pay for college.”