Education Funding News in Brief

FAFSA Tool Shut Off For Security Reasons

By Liana Loewus — March 21, 2017 1 min read

The Internal Revenue Service intentionally shut off a tool for helping students and parents apply for federal student aid, and the tool will continue to be unavailable for “several weeks,” government officials say.

In a joint release, the IRS and the U.S. Department of Education cited security concerns as the reason for suspending the Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students and parents to import tax information directly into their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Families can still file their FAFSAs, but they’ll need to input their tax information on their own.

The tool was shut off “as a precautionary step following concerns that information from the tool could potentially be misused by identity thieves,” according to the government agencies.

A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2017 edition of Education Week as FAFSA Tool Shut Off For Security Reasons

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