Posted Date:October 4, 2016
|Author:||Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid|
Subject: Reminder to Institutions to Promote the Use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for Both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA Years
With the successful launch of the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on October 1, 2016, we continue to encourage institutions to promote the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) for both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA years.
As we stated in the February 18, 2016 Early FAFSA Electronic Announcement #2, and again in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-14 published August 3, 2016, the most effective way to prevent conflicting information from occurring between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSAs is by using the IRS DRT for both FAFSA years.
We are aware of one institution that sent emails to their 2016-2017 FAFSA applicants who did not initially use the IRS DRT encouraging them to resubmit their 2016-2017 FAFSA using the IRS DRT. This institution reported that two-thirds of the students and parents who were contacted responded positively by using the IRS DRT for their 2016-2017 FAFSAs and that few of the resultant ISIRs showed changes, or significant changes, to the applicants EFC for 2016-2017.
We urge institutions to promote the use of the IRS DRT to their students and families, including those 2016-2017 FAFSA applicants who may not have used the IRS DRT initially, and for their 2017-2018 FAFSAs. As noted, doing so should dramatically decrease the likelihood that there will be conflicting information between the two FAFSA years.