GAO investigates issues with FAFSA rollout

(Photo supplied/U.S. Department of Education)
Many Hoosier parents have been having issues getting their kids set up for financial aid as they get ready to go off to college.
In order to be eligible for financial aid through most institutions you have to fill out your FAFSA paperwork. But, the Department of Education has rolled out an updated FAFSA this year and it has not gone well for parents trying to fill it out.
“I had set it up, or so I thought. And then when I waited the time they said to wait and went back to log in it didn’t work,” said Andrea Ratcliff, who is a Westfield mother of a soon-to-be college student.
She also told All Indiana Politics that the FAFSA website had last year’s form still up and active and that she filled that form out by mistake. She eventually got it right, but said it was confusing that the old form was still up on the website.
Rep. Erin Houchin (R-IN-9th) also had trouble filling out FAFSA paperwork for her own daughter.
“We asked a lot of questions before the rollout,” she said. “The Biden Administration has had three years under this Department (of Education) to roll out their new FAFSA. It’s unfortunate for these students and we want to get to the bottom of it because it’s completely unacceptable.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has now begun investigating the rollout of the new FAFSA at the request of Republicans in Congress, like Houchin.
When asked about the GAO investigation, a Department of Education spokesperson said only, “The Department is in receipt of GAO’s engagements and will be cooperating.”
Houchin said she wants to hear from parents who are having trouble submitting their FAFSA paperwork. She urges you to provide as much information as you can to her office, including PIN numbers associated with your FAFSA account.
To help alleviate some of the stress over the issues, many schools are extending their deadlines to have FAFSA paperwork turned in for the Fall semester.

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