Applying for financial aid? The process just got easier

Previously, applicants needed to confirm their income or that of their family with tax transcripts or another official form from the IRS.

Now, a signed tax return will do. For those who don’t file a tax return, they can just sign a statement explaining that.

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To avoid being selected for verification, applicants should use FAFSA’s IRS data retrieval tool, which automatically imports their tax information, said Kim Cook, executive director of the National College Access Network.

“When filers use the tool, it is considered verified data so they will not be selected,” Cook said.

If you’re asked to verify your financial circumstances, don’t panic, said Lindsay Ahlman, a senior policy analyst at The Institute for College Access and Success.

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