FAFSA Data Retrieval Suspended Due to Security Concerns
Over the next few weeks, college students will have a harder time completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Department of Education and the IRS have temporarily shut down the data retrieval tool for the application due to security concerns.
The data retrieval tool automatically pulls information from the IRS database to use on the income portion of the application. This determines how much federal money an applicant qualifies for in student loans and grants. Having this information generated is a big time saver.
The IRS shut down the program due to some security threats, believing “information from the tool could potentially be misused by identity thieves.” The organization says they have isolated the issue, and are strengthening their security efforts before the retrieval tool is reactivated.
Applicants can still complete the income portion of their FAFSAs using their tax information, but they have to enter it manually. There is no date set for when the data retrieval tool will be back online, but the IRS says they will provide more information when they have an official timeframe.