COVID-19 Information and Resources

A step forward in simplifying the FAFSA

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

August 20, 2020

This year has been filled with complications, but applying for financial aid should be a little easier with one of the changes planned for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In the 2021-22 FAFSA, available on October 1, user who opt to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing the FAFSA on the Web, will not have to answer questions about whether they filed a Schedule 1 on their taxes.

Unlike last year, the IRS is now able to transfer that information over automatically to the FAFSA form. The actual data will be masked (as was other data from the IRS) with only the words “Transferred from the IRS” appearing on the form.

Students and parents not using the DRT will still need to answer the question about Schedule 1. However, the exceptions have changed. Capital gains has been removed as an exception and virtual currency has been added.

The Department of Education outlined these and other changes in its 2021-2022 Summary of Changes for the Application Processing System Guide.