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Spending Bill Permits FAFSA Data Sharing!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018  

As many of you know, last September, the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) from the Department of Education reaffirmed their guidance which prohibited colleges/universities to share FAFSA data with private scholarship providers. We are thrilled to report that the 2018 spending bill that passed on Friday, March 23rd includes a provision clarifying that institutions may, with explicit written consent from the student, share FAFSA information with scholarship-granting or tribal organizations! Click here for the exact language in the bill.

We are incredibly grateful to our advocacy partners, NASFAA, NCAN, Daniels Fund, and UNCF for helping to make this possible. We’re also incredibly thankful for you, our members, who supported the NSPA’s advocacy efforts by sharing your impact stories, signing our letter to the Department of Education, and contacting your legislative officials. It has taken a great deal of effort/collaboration to get to this place, with many moving pieces happening behind the scenes. Read on for an overview of NSPA’s advocacy efforts on your behalf:

Shortly after the Department of Education issued their reinterpretation of the law, NSPA released a news update.

In October 2017, NSPA conducted a panel session at annual conference with the latest information from PTAC and why it’s an issue for many scholarship providers.You can download the PDF of the presentationhere.

In November 2017, an NSPA member raised the matter with Federal Student Aid (FSA) COO, Wayne Johnson at the annual FSA conference.

Shortly after, NSPA collaborated with NASFAA and NCAN to prepare and deliver letters of appeal to the Department of Education.

Following this communication, the NSPA drafted a letter for members to sign and collected Impact Stories to share with Department of Education representatives.

NSPA members met with FSA representatives in December 2017 and January 2018 to raise the concern.

In February of this year, NSPA released a webinar, titled “FAFSA Data Sharing” which provided a recap of the materials distributed during the NSPA conference, and answered questions that arose surrounding this topic. You can access the webinar recording and additional resources here.

Most recently, the NSPA collaborated with NASFAA and NCAN, providing critical feedback to NASFAA for their advocacy endeavor with Congress.

Success! Congress passes FY 2018 Spending Bill that permits sharing of FAFSA data with private scholarship providers! Click here for more details from our friends at NASFAA.

Thank you for your support and membership!


Jackie Bright
Executive Director

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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