Mapping Your Future: Department offers guidance on implementing new FAFSA provision, removing Selective Service and drug conviction answers



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Department offers guidance on implementing new FAFSA provision, removing Selective Service and drug conviction answers

By Catherine Mueller

June 24, 2021

When it comes to early implementation of the new requirements – or lack of requirements in a sense – financial aid professionals must consider the past, the present, and the future.

In a June 11 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the Department provided information about the early implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act's removal of Selective Service and drug conviction requirements for institutions as these changes are phased in during current and future academic years. The letter addresses the current FAFSA cycle (2021-22) and future FAFSA cycles (2022-23 and 2023-24).

For the 2021-22 FAFSA, the Selective Service and drug conviction questions remain on the FAFSA, but the answers to the questions will no longer impact a student's eligibility for Title IV aid. Schools may still see comment codes, but must now ignore those comment codes and proceed with awarding and disbursing aid to those students if they are otherwise eligible. Students who were deemed ineligible for Title IV aid prior to the implementation of the new law will be notified by the Department, informing them they may now be eligible for federal aid. The students will be directed to the institution's financial aid office.

For the 2022-23 FAFSA, the questions will be on the form and schools will still get the comment codes, but will also receive a message that no further action is necessary.

For the 2023-24 FAFSA, the questions will be removed from the form, along with any comment codes or messaging to the institutions.

Institutions with questions about the early implementation of this new provision should contact Customer Support.