It is important that your school become familiar with the following enhancements to the FAFSA so you will be able to answer applicants and/or parents questions.
Updated Response to HS Diploma/GED Question – The “GED certificate” response option has been updated for the question “When you begin college in the 20XX-20XX school year, what will be your high school completion status?” to “GED certificate or state authorized high school equivalent certificate”. Students should select this reworded response when submitting applications or corrections if they have a state-authorized high school equivalent certificate that the issuing state recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma.
Clarified Guidance on Reporting Non-Custodial Parent Support – The Web page label has been updated as well as associated help topics for the “Money received, or paid on student’s behalf” question to more clearly advise students that financial support received from a non-custodial parent should be reported as untaxed income if it is not part of a legal child support agreement.
Clarified Confirmation Page Guidance for Parental Data Transfer Option – The warning message text displayed on the Confirmation page to dependent applicants who select the option to transfer parental FAFSA information from the submitted application to a sibling’s application has been updated. The revised warning message text advises applicants to verify they will be using the correct parental information before transferring the data to their sibling’s application.
Additional DOMA-Related Label and Dynamic Text Updates – The 2014-2015 version of the FAFSA on the Web site has been updated to revise labels for parental questions and provide additional guidance to applicants who are same-sex married couples or have same-sex married parents. These changes were made to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). For further information about 2014-2015 changes related to the collection of parental information, see Dear Colleague Letter GEN-13-12.
o Additional updates have been implemented to question labels and other Web page text to use gender-neutral references such as “parent 1” and “parent 2” when referring to parental information on the FAFSA, particularly when the “Married/Remarried” response is selected for the Parents’ Marital Status field. These changes will apply to multiple functions on the Web site.
In most cases, fields most commonly labeled as “Father/Stepfather” will now be labeled as “Parent 1 (Father/Mother/Stepparent)” and fields previously labeled as “Mother/Stepmother” will now be labeled “Parent 2 (Father/Mother/Stepparent).”
IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix
USDE released the IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix to help financial aid administrators map 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript information to FAFSA/ISIR data, as the IRS Transcript does not have line or item numbers and uses wording that may be different from what is used on the FAFSA.
Column 1: Llists the seven FAFSA information items that may need to be verified for a student or parent who indicated that they did or will file a 2013 IRS tax return.
Column 2: Includes the student FAFSA question number for each item followed by the relevant parent FAFSA question number.
Column 3: Displays the student ISIR item number followed by the parent ISIR item number.
Column 4: Identifies the item name as reported on the IRS Tax Return Transcript. Note that for some items the transcript may report two or three values. This is because the IRS calculates or recalculates the amount reported by the tax filer for some items. If only one value is reported on the transcript, that value must be used for verification. If more than one value is reported on the transcript, the value associated with the item name that includes the words “Per Computer” must be used for verification.
The “Per Computer” line should be used for verification even if it is different than what was reported by the tax filer.
The last three columns show the corresponding line item numbers from the three 2013 IRS tax returns (IRS Form 1040, IRS Form 1040A, and IRS Form 1040EZ).
2014–2015 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix in Excel Format, 37 KB