October is here and that means it is almost time to start thinking about 2018-2019 school year. The Department of Education made some major changes to FAFSA and how it will be processed. Below are those changes:
- Secure Connections across Federal Web sites and Web services
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) changes
- Data transferred from the IRS DRT masked
- IRS Data Retrieval Tool availability for users who filed an amended tax return
- Identifying IRS data fields that changed
- Improve Parents’ Marital Status question and instructions
- Reinterpretation of the definition of a homeless youth
- FAFSA on the Web redesign
One of the most important changes made to FAFSA is that IRS transferred fields will be masked; students and parents will not be able to see the actual information. They will be informed that the data is transferred. Also, students/parents will not be able to make corrections to data fields transferred from the IRS for the subsequent transaction on the FAFSA. If students/parents want to make update to the transferred fields, they are advised to contact the school or FAA.
Additionally, the Department is doing away with the paper FAFSA. Students and parents are encouraged to complete a FAFSA online and if they want to complete a paper FAFSA, they may access a PDF FAFSA on the web and fill out manually or may contact the Department and request for up to 3-paper FAFSA to be mailed to them.