Department of Education Simplifies FAFSA Verification Process

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The Department of Education recently announced changes to FAFSA verification aimed to help make the process less burdensome.

In lieu of IRS tax return transcripts and verification of non-filing forms, the guidance allows institutions to accept copies of signed income tax returns and written statements of non-filing from students who are selected for FAFSA verification. The changes are effective immediately and apply to both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cycles.

Earlier this month it was reported that students were experiencing roadblocks to verification amid disruptions at the IRS; these new changes should help alleviate these roadblocks.

Last year, NCAN found that only 56 percent of Pell-eligible students selected for verification go on to receive a Pell Grant, compared to 81 percent of Pell-eligible students not selected for verification. The Department of Education selected over half of Pell-eligible applicants for verification in the 2016-17 filing cycle.

Learn more about how NACAC advocates for policies that would strengthen and expand need-based financial aid.

Julie Kirk is NACAC’s government relations manager. She can be reached at jkirk@nacacnet.org.

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