Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Student Aid Applications and the IRS

The NYTimes has an article on:
The Obama administration is moving to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or Fafsa, a notoriously complicated form that asks students seeking financial aid for college as many as 153 questions.
If I understand, the biggest part of the idea is to piggyback on IRS 1040 data. Apparently there's lots of overlap, so the Education Department is willing to forgo some questions of value only in special circumstances, and the applicant is willing to permit Ed to access IRS data, the entry process can be simplified, speeded up, and made much more accurate.

Seems to me there's a trend at work--people are more comfortable with having their data online. Whether they trust the government (or Google or whoever) or it's just an evolution as we get more used to the Internet, I don't know.

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