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Important Information Regarding FAFSA Completion for Parents without Social Security Numbers

January 29, 2024

The changes to the FAFSA season this year have brought challenges and ICAN is committed to providing updates to ease the process for families completing the form, and professionals providing assistance.

Today we would like to bring to your attention a critical matter concerning the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for parents who do not possess a social security number.

As of now, the form does not permit individuals without a social security number to complete the FAFSA form online. If a parent with no Social Security Number starts the 2024-25 FAFSA form for a student, the parent will receive an error message on the “Student Information” page. According to Federal Student Aid this incorrect error message states that the user is “unauthorized to act on behalf of the student since they already have a 24-25 FAFSA form” even if the student has not started an application. A parent with no SSN is not able to contribute to the form, even if the student starts the application and invites the parent to contribute.

While we wait for this issue to be resolved by Federal Student Aid, ICAN recommends families with upcoming priority dates consider an alternative approach. To navigate this situation, we suggest the submission of a paper application which can be downloaded here: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/2024-25-fafsa.pdf.

When submitting a paper FAFSA application, BOTH students and parent(s) will need to complete the paper form.

In understanding the urgency of this matter, ICAN advises students and families to reach out to the respective college you are applying to BEFORE completing the paper application. It is crucial to inquire about the college’s preference considering this issue. Colleges may provide guidance on whether to submit the paper application immediately or to wait for a resolution to the online problem.

At ICAN, we recognize the challenges this may pose and are here to help navigate this process. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions at (877) 272-4692 or ICAN@ICANsucceed.org.

The ICAN Team

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