Following a Response from the Department of Education Indicating That the FAFSA Issue Will Be Resolved for the 2021-2022 FAFSA Cycle, Senators Request Mid-Cycle Fix to Prevent Disruption to Current Applicants’ Access to Financial Aid
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling for an immediate mid-cycle patch to the current FAFSA form so that students’ access to financial aid is not disrupted.
“The Department can, and has, previously updated FAFSA questions in the middle of an application cycle…This patching process requires no action on behalf of applicants, state grant agencies, or institutions of higher education,” wrote the Senators. “Simplifying the financial aid process and FAFSA form has long been a bipartisan objective, and everyone should be united in addressing this issue as soon as possible.”
In June 2018, the Treasury Department shortened the core 1040 tax form and moved information from the 1040 to six new tax forms. Due to inadequate coordination between the Treasury, the Department of Education, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the IRS Data Retrieval Tool was not modified to automate the transfer of data on one of these six new tax forms – the Schedule 1 – into the FAFSA for the 2020-21 academic year, which went online October 1, 2019. As a result, students are currently having to self-report this tax data on the FAFSA form.
Click here to read the letter.