Government Shutdown Impacts Some of the FAFSA Data Matches and IRS Services

Recent articles from NASFAA News indicate that due to the government shutdown, some of the data matches performed on the FAFSA/ISIR may not be performed and some IRS requests are not working.  Information has not been provided on the IFAP website at this time.

Government Shutdown May Impact Some FAFSA Database Matches

If a student receives a comment 390 on their FAFSA/ISIR, the school may need to request additional information for one or more of the matches.  Comment 390 is not student actionable in StudentForms, the school would need to identify and review students with a comment 390 to determine if action is required. If so, the school may request additional documentation through the request information button in the file review screen.

The comment text from the SAR Comment Codes and Text guide indicate that information should be posted on either the IFAP website or sent to the schools SAIG mailbox. As of 01/03/2019, nothing has been posted to the IFAP website.

2019-2020 SAR Comment Codes and Text

2018-2019 SAR Comment Codes and Text

Amid Government Shutdown, Questions Arise over IRS Processes

It is unclear if this is due to the shutdown or normal maintenance. The services that are unavailable are:

  • Get Transcript Online
  • Get Transcript by Mail

When a user tries to choose either of these options, the below message displays on the IRS website:

Although not mentioned in the article, processing of Form 4506-T may be delayed or not processed during this time. 

The NASFAA news article indicates that the IRS DRT should continue to work.  An electronic announcement posted 01/03/2019 indicates that the IRS DRT will be unavailable during specific times for system upgrades January 6th and January 12th. OUTAGE ALERT – IRS DRT Outages on January 6 and 12, 2019

Update 01/04/2019 - ED released an electronic announcement that they are continuing to monitor and evaluate the impact of the government shutdown in regards to the database matches that are conducted with government offices which are closed due to the shutdown. They will post more information as needed. 

Impact of Partial Government Shutdown on FSA

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An Electronic Announcement was posted 1/31/2019 on IFAP regarding the resolution to this issue.

Summary of announcement:

It indicates that ISIR records will begin to be sent to Selective Service for matching beginning on 1/31/2019.  

It is estimated that during the shutdown approximately 600,000 student records were impacted.  The Department will begin reprocessing these records in batches of 50,000.  Due to the number of 2019–20 transactions, the CPS will stagger the reprocessing effort across multiple days. The daily volume of new records requiring SSS matching and records requiring SSS reprocessing will total close to 50,000 for each cycle.  Since there are fewer records impacted for the 2018-19 cycle, reprocessing for that cycle will be completed earlier than for the 2019-20 cycle. We anticipate all impacted records for both award cycles will be reprocessed by mid-February 2019.

Several methods exist for schools to identify records resulting from the reprocessing:

  • Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG19OP (for 2018–19) and IGSG20OP (for 2019–20) message classes.
  • SARs and ISIRs will include SAR comment code 172, which states “This SAR was produced because we processed a change to your information based on information reported to us by another agency or as a result of a processing system change. Review your SAR to see what effect, if any, this change has had on your application, and call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) if you have any questions.”
  • ISIRs produced as a result of the reprocessing will include a value of “50” for the Reprocessed Reason Code (ISIR field #248 for both cycles).
  • The FAA Information page in Student Inquiry on the FAA Access to CPS Online website will display “50 – Reprocessed because of a match file delay” for the Reprocessing Code on the transaction resulting from the reprocessing.

Impact to StudentForms:

Reprocessed ISIR records will flow through the traditional subsequent ISIR process within StudentForms.  In the instance that a new ISIR record is imported that has a C Code for selective service, the appropriate task will be added to the students verification transaction.  

An electronic announcement was posted on IFAP 01/09/2019 detailing that the match with the Selective Service is being bypassed during the partial government shutdown. This is being done to allow CPS to continue to process FAFSAs. 

ED has also indicated that any students who had the Selective Service Match bypassed will have a comment code 390 on their ISIR and the Selective Service Match Flag will be blank. These ISIRs will be reprocessed once Selective Service resumes services. For more information on this announcement please see: CPS Processing Without Selective Service System Match During Partial Government Shutdown

NASFAA has also released information that ED will reprocess all affected ISIRs with the comment code 390. Additional information may be viewed at: ED to Reprocess All Affected ISIRs Due to Partial Government Shutdown