Resolved and Remaining Issues with FAFSA form

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The Department of Education announced the following update in a March 12, 2024 memo:

Resolved Issues

As of today, we have implemented and verified two technical fixes that have resolved access for impacted individuals:

  1. Previously, if a parent with no SSN started the 2024-25 FAFSA form for a student, the parent received an error message on the “Student Information” page. This incorrect error message stated that the user was “unauthorized to act on behalf of the student since they already have a 24-25 FAFSA form” even if the student had not started an application.
  2. A contributor with no SSN was not able to contribute to the form, even if the student started the application and invited the parent or spouse to contribute. Contributors who were previously impacted by this issue may now log in to to complete their section of the online FAFSA form, after they are invited to participate in the form by the student. The Department still recommends that the student start the application and then invite the parent to contribute to their form for the best user experience and to avoid any further glitches.

Remaining Issues

As part of the implementation of this fix, the Department uncovered separate issues that still need to be resolved:

  1. All users without an SSN, including those with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), have to manually enter their financial information. We still encourage all impacted users to enter an ITIN, if they have one. Once a permanent fix is identified and implemented, the Department will attempt to retrieve federal tax information via the direct data exchange with the IRS and will reprocess the FAFSA, as necessary, to reflect any changes. There is currently no estimated timeline for resolution of this issue.
  2. Some applicants and their contributors are encountering an error message when inviting contributors without an SSN to participate in their form. This occurs when there is a mismatch of personally identifiable information (PII) that is entered on the invitation compared to the PII attached to the contributor’s account, or the person sending the invitation to participate in the FAFSA form sends multiple invitations, often with different variations of PII. Right now, we are advising impacted families to wait to invite any contributors without an SSN to their form. We are working to resolve this issue in the coming days and will provide updates as they are available.

The Department is releasing a new tips document for students who have a contributor without an SSN to help ensure they can successfully navigate the form. Individuals may access the new tips document and sign up to receive updates from the Department on issues impacting students who have contributors without an SSN at