POLITICO's Morning Education, presented by Navient: Feds disable key financial aid tool — States move ahead without ESSA rule — House panel to vote on D.C. voucher
FEDS DISABLE KEY FINANCIAL AID TOOL, CITING DATA SECURITY CONCERNS: The IRS and Education Department confirmed late Thursday that the federal government purposefully shut off an online tool used by millions of students each year to apply for federal student aid. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students to automatically import tax information onto their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, will be "unavailable for several weeks" as a result of concerns about security of student data, the two agencies said in a statement.
- It's not clear what, specifically, prompted officials to shut down the tool without advance notice in the midst of the financial aid and college application season. The IRS and Education Department statement said the decision to shut down the tool, which has been operating for seven years, was "a precautionary step following concerns that information from the tool could potentially be misused by identity thieves." It added that "we believe the issue is relatively isolated, and no additional action is needed by taxpayers or people using these applications." More here.