Home News ED Announces Improvements in FAFSA Verification at FSA Training Conference – NASFAA

ED Announces Improvements in FAFSA Verification at FSA Training Conference – NASFAA

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Department of Education (ED) officials announced Wednesday — the second day of the 2019 annual Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference — that they reduced the number of FAFSA applications selected for verification by about 26% using new technology.

During the second general session of the day, ED’s Ed Pacchetti explained to thousands of financial aid professionals that FSA had begun using a machine learning model in October 2018 to select FAFSA filers for verification, which reduced the applications selected from 30% to 22% in 2019-20 — 900,000 fewer than in 2018-19.

Craig Munier, the assistant director of policy liaison and implementation at FSA, said ED is constantly working to find a balance between reducing the verification burden on students and financial aid administrators while still ensuring that students are disbursed the correct amount of funds. Pacchetti explained that ED’s cost-benefit analysis showed verifying 22% of FAFSA applications resulted in the highest return in reducing improper payments, which ED has been under pressure to address.

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