If you have not yet filed the FAFSA for the coming school year, you may be stuck entering your income data manually. The IRS last week said they do not expect the Data Retrieval Tool to be available until the next FAFSA cycle begins in October, due to security concerns.
Instead, applicants will need to fill in their income data manually. Fortunately the data in question is from 2015, so even the latest of tax filers has that information already.
Note that applicants for Income Driven Repayment plans who typically also use the Data Retrieval Tool will need to submit their income information manually as well. Instructions for doing so are part of the IDR application process.
Before you throw in the towel on the FAFSA because of the difficulty of doing it manually, remember that you must file it to be eligible for any of the federal student loan programs including Direct Student Loans and Parent PLUS loans.
The IRS announced last week that as many as 100,000 taxpayers’ data may have been breached via the DRT.
The Department of Education’s updated notice on the DRT, including more details on filing the FAFSA or filing for IDR, is here.