Higher Education News

Faculty and Students Assail Texas A&M President’s Criticism of Professor

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 10:34am
The professor's advocates said they were "deeply alarmed and saddened" by the president's "incredibly irresponsible" decision to not support him.
Categories: Higher Education News

Texas Southern U. Cancels Commencement Speech Over Protest Concerns

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 10:08am
The historically black college in Houston scrubbed an address by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, after a petition demanded he be blocked from speaking.
Categories: Higher Education News

Important Information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

U.S. Department of Education Blog - May 12, 2017 - 9:09am

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. While we are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, students, families, and borrowers should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.

In the interim, please continue to complete the FAFSA or apply for income-driven repayment by manually providing your tax information.

Here’s what you should know:

1. You can still submit the FAFSA online at fafsa.gov.
  • You will need to manually provide your 2015 tax information in order to complete the FAFSA.
  • DO NOT use 2016 tax information. We recently changed the FAFSA process and now require earlier tax information. For more information: StudentAid.gov/fafsa-changes.
  • If your financial situation has changed since 2015, you should complete the FAFSA using the information it requires (2015 tax info), then contact your school’s financial aid office to discuss your circumstances. The financial aid office can make updates to your FAFSA information if appropriate.
  • If you don’t have a copy of your 2015 tax return, access the tax software you used to prepare the return or contact your tax preparer to obtain a copy.
  • If you still can’t access your return, you can get a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, at irs.gov/transcript.


If you are using your 2015 income tax return to manually enter information on your FAFSA, the FAFSA instructions provide guidance on which line number to reference depending on the IRS tax form you filed. That information is also provided in the table below. For more specific guidance on each item, visit fafsa.gov/help.htm. If you’re using a tax transcript, there won’t be line numbers to reference, so read each question carefully.

2015 Income Tax Item 1040 1040A 1040EZ Adjusted gross income (AGI) Line 37 Line 21 Line 4 Income tax Line 56 minus line 46 Line 28 minus line 36 Line 10 Exemptions 6d 6d See details. Wages earned from working Line 7*

*Unless you are self-employed. See details. Line 7 Line 1 Education credits Line 50 Line 33 N/A IRA deductions and payments to self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, Keogh, and other qualified plans Line 28 + Line 32 Line 17 N/A Tax-exempt interest income Line 8b Line 8b N/A Untaxed portions of IRA distributions Line 15a minus line 15b

Exclude rollovers Line 11a minus line 11b

Exclude rollovers N/A Untaxed portions of pensions Line 16a minus line 16b

Exclude rollovers Line 12a minus line 12b

Exclude rollovers N/A Untaxed portions of health savings accounts Line 25 N/A N/A Form W-2 Item Boxes Payments to tax-deferred pension and retirement savings plans Boxes 12a through 12d, codes D, E, F, G, H and S

Don’t include amounts reported in code DD (employer contributions toward employee health benefits) 2. You can still apply for and recertify your income-driven payments on StudentLoans.gov.

  • While the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, there is an additional step you may need to take to apply for or recertify your income-driven payments.
  • After you complete and submit the online income-driven repayment application on StudentLoans.gov, you’ll be instructed to submit income documentation to your federal loan servicer.
  • Valid income documentation may include a copy of your tax return, copies of pay stubs, or other acceptable forms of documentation explained online in the application process.
  • The easiest way to submit documentation to your servicer is to log in to your servicer’s website and upload the documentation in your online account.
  • If you need to recertify your income-driven payments, start the process early! Your servicer will inform you of your recertification deadline. Make sure you submit any documentation required by that deadline. If you don’t, your payments will increase, often significantly.
Frequently Asked Questions:

When will the IRS Data Retrieval Tool be available?

Students, families, and borrowers should plan for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.

Do not wait until the tool is available to fill out your FAFSA; you can enter your tax information manually on fafsa.gov. Do not wait to apply for an income-driven repayment plan, or recertify your income-driven payments; you can provide documentation of your tax information in place of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

 

What if I don’t have a copy of my 2015 tax return?

If you don’t have a copy of your 2015 tax return, access the tax software you used to prepare the return or contact your tax preparer to obtain a copy.

If you still can’t access your return, you can get a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, at www.irs.gov/transcript. If you’re applying for or recertifying for an income-driven repayment plan, you can use your transcript as documentation of your income.

 

Will my FAFSA deadline be extended?

You need to ask your school’s financial aid office how they will handle upcoming deadlines.

That said, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool being down does not prevent you from filling out the FAFSA. Regardless of how your school decides to handle any upcoming FAFSA deadlines, we highly recommend submitting your FAFSA as soon as possible to avoid financial aid issues and delays.

 

Will my deadline to recertify my income-driven repayment plan be extended?

No. You should still recertify your income-driven repayment plan by the deadline listed in communications you receive from your federal student loan servicer. We recommend starting the process as soon as you get your recertification notice to avoid any issues.

Contact your servicer if you have questions or need help. If you need to locate contact information for your servicer, visit StudentAid.gov/login.

Nicole Callahan is a Digital Engagement Strategist at the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.

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The post Important Information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

U. of California President’s Office Faces New Scrutiny After Scathing Audit

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 2:55am
The governor is withholding $50 million from the university until it fixes problems, and the Board of Regents is hiring a consultant to review allegations that the office interfered with survey responses.
Categories: Higher Education News

Trump’s Liberty U. Commencement Speech Will Pair Anti-Establishment Brands

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 2:55am
Jerry Falwell Jr., whose evangelical university prides itself on bucking higher-ed norms, finds common ground with a president who revels outside the mainstream.
Categories: Higher Education News

Women Who Broke the Glass Ceiling in College Sports Tell How They Did It

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 2:55am
As athletics administration diversifies, some women are exploring how to strengthen the pipeline to leadership.
Categories: Higher Education News

After Death at Penn State: What Can a President Do to Change Campus Culture?

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 2:55am
Presidents who have lived through painful experiences like the death of a student say that solutions to binge-drinking are hard to find and that campus leadership is critical.
Categories: Higher Education News

A Year After Controversy Toppled Its Divisive President, Mount St. Mary’s Forges Ahead

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 12, 2017 - 2:44am
After Simon P. Newman compared struggling freshmen to bunnies who should be drowned, the Roman Catholic college was thrust into a weeks-long spotlight. Its new leader has tried to steady the ship.
Categories: Higher Education News

Bethune-Cookman U. Says Only 20 Students Protested DeVos’s Speech

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 3:36pm
Videos show a large portion of the 374 graduating students standing and turning their backs as the education secretary began to speak.
Categories: Higher Education News

Demonstration by Grad-Student Union at Yale Furthers Tensions Over Hunger Strike

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 1:13pm
The university wants the hunger strike to end, but graduate students blocked three major intersections on Thursday to further pressure administrators.
Categories: Higher Education News

Texas A&M President Calls Professor’s Remarks ‘Disturbing’

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 1:09pm
The professor, whose 2012 remarks about the killing of white people were highlighted by a conservative commentator, is now receiving hate mail and death threats.
Categories: Higher Education News

People Esteem Community Colleges but Question How Well Higher Ed Serves Students

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 2:55am
A new poll shows that many Americans think higher education needs to change, even as they recognize that it is good for society at large.
Categories: Higher Education News

Florida Moves to Slash Funds for Remedial Education, and College Leaders Protest

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 2:55am
Enrollments in remedial classes plunged after the state made them optional for most students. Lawmakers now see that as evidence that the courses need less money, but educators say that’s the wrong conclusion.
Categories: Higher Education News

After One EPA Science Board Is Trimmed, a Bigger One Awaits

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 2:55am
The professor who leads the agency’s Science Advisory Board warns of the dangers of excluding academic experts from the panel, through Trump-administration actions or proposals in Congress.
Categories: Higher Education News

Obama’s Controversial Teacher-Prep Rules Are History. What Comes Next?

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 11, 2017 - 2:55am
The Trump administration formally withdrew rules this week that had sought to strengthen teacher training. Experts say new reform efforts may come from the states, though accountability remains a patchwork.
Categories: Higher Education News

Boos and Protests Mark Betsy DeVos's Speech at Bethune-Cookman

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 10, 2017 - 10:44pm
The day of the secretary’s highly anticipated visit finally arrived and the expected commotion ensued. But as patience with the Trump administration wears thin among the HBCU community, the university’s president is hopeful.
Categories: Higher Education News

Racist Note at St. Olaf College Was Fabricated, President Tells Students

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 10, 2017 - 3:16pm
The culprit, who is not being named, sought to draw attention to the racial climate at the college, which has seen a series of incidents since last fall.
Categories: Higher Education News

Tennessee Law Is Hailed as Offering Unprecedented Protection of Campus Speech

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 10, 2017 - 12:39pm
Among other things, the measure bars public colleges from disinviting speakers based on their controversial viewpoints or from charging student groups higher security fees to host speakers expected to trigger unrest.
Categories: Higher Education News

Students Boo, Turn Their Backs on DeVos at Bethune-Cookman Speech

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 10, 2017 - 11:25am
Betsy DeVos, the U.S. education secretary, faced loud protests as she delivered the commencement address at the historically black university.
Categories: Higher Education News

Faculty Votes No Confidence in President of Cal State San Bernardino

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 10, 2017 - 8:52am
The vote followed an hourlong discussion about what some faculty members view as a toxic campus climate and complaints over shared governance.
Categories: Higher Education News

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