Identify Theft and the FAFSA

Identity thieves might have access to your FAFSA information. At least that's a possibility, because the IRS has shut off their FAFSA application tool due to security concerns.

The FAFSA uses a "data retrieval tool" to get your information from the IRS to the Department of Education FAFSA website. This means that your social security number gets moved from one government site to the other automatically.

The IRS and Department of Education put out a joint press release saying this was a "precautionary step following concerns that information from the tool could potentially be misused by identity thieves."

It's possible that there was a security breach, but the statement emphasizes that "The scope of the issue is being explored, and the IRS and FSA are jointly investigating the issue."

Read the press release here:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) Statement about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

Read Education Week Blog here:
FAFSA Application Tool Shut Off Due to Security Concerns, IRS Says

Learn more about the FAFSA. Get up-to-date information on need-based scholarships and the ever changing FAFSA in my free resource, "Need Based Scholarships - A White Paper."  It's filled with tips for busy parents who dread filling out government forms.