It’s October 1st and that means that students can begin filling out the 2022-2023 FAFSA form on studentaid.gov. To fill out the FAFSA, students and parents need:

  • Social Security number
  • Alien Registration number (if they aren’t a U.S. citizen)
  • 2020 Federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned.
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID (one for the student and if needed, one for their parent) to electronically sign the FAFSA form.

Remember, students can complete their application online or on the mobile app to access more than 150 billion in Financial Aid and Federal Student Loans.

There are a few notable changes this year, so be sure to update your publications, policies, and procedures.

First, students who did not register with Selective Service Registration System will now qualify for Federal Financial Aid. Additionally, students who have been convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs are no longer prohibited from accessing Federal Student Aid funds. The Department will not be publishing the Drug Conviction worksheet for Question 23.

The Department changed the required verification items for the 2022-2023 award year too. High School Completion status has been removed for V4 and V5 verification tracking groups and as a result, institutions are no longer required to obtain high school completion documentation to complete verification. Students in the V4 tracking group will only need to provide a statement of educational purpose and identity statement.  However, unlike the adjustments the Department made for the 2021-2022 award year, institutions must verify all the items from Verification Tracking Group V1 such as financial and tax information, household size and number in college as well as student identity and statement of educational purpose for the V5 tracking group.

Federal Student Aid also announced that because of the American Rescue Plan the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits were considered non-taxable income for each taxpayer with incomes less than $150,000.00. As a result, tax filers who received unemployment benefits and filed their Federal Income Tax Returns before March 11, 2021, will have a higher Adjusted Gross Income than taxpayers who filed after the ARP went into effect, which may reduce their eligibility for Federal Student Aid. FSA is encouraging schools to use professional judgment to adjust affected aid applicants’ AGI to help students access financial aid if appropriate to do so.

Finally, an issue originally announced in March affecting some applicants that have completed a 2021-2022 FAFSA form, used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to transfer their tax return information, and had their adjusted gross income (AGI) inaccurately reported as $1 for Title IV purposes will continue to be an issue for the 22-23 FAFSA cycle. Affected applicants are primarily those who used the IRS’s “Enter Payment Info Here Tool” for Non-Filers who attempted to claim stimulus checks. FSA is asking Financial Aid Administrators to identify all instances of $1 AGIs, for the 2022-23 FAFSA cycle, and work with applicants to resolve the conflicting information. To resolve the issue, applicants should obtain a Record of Account from the IRS to verify whether the $1 value is correct and adjust the student’s financial aid package if needed.

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