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Education Department to ease FAFSA verification requirements this year

Education Department to ease FAFSA verification requirements this year

Higher Ed Dive

Laura Spitalniak
February 13, 2024
The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday it will reduce verification requirements this year for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid amid the rocky release of the updated form.
The adjustments are intended to make it easier for colleges to process student records and issue financial aid officers during this cycle’s abbreviated timeline.
The Education Department will require college financial aid offices to verify fewer FAFSA applications than in previous years. The agency said it now receives the majority of income data from the IRS, whose information doesn’t need to be verified
The agency will also provide deadline flexibility for colleges that need to recertify their eligibility for receiving federal financial aid.
Additionally, the Education Department will largely suspend new program reviews — which evaluate an institution’s compliance with federal laws and regulations — through June 2024.  Reviews typically require extra administrative work on the part of college financial aid offices, which are already stretched thin.
It will conduct several dozen reviews in total, down from the several hundred it did in past years, a senior official said Monday. The department said it will only review colleges that are suspected of fraud or serious breaches of fiduciary duty.
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