Posted Date: February 26, 2010

Author:  William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Relocation of 2010-2011 FAFSA on the Web "Are you male or female?" Question to be Implemented on February 27, 2010

On February 27, 2010, we will update the 2010-2011 FAFSA on the Web site to relocate the “Are you male or female?” question to a more visually prominent location below the “Your Date of Birth” question. We are making this change in response to the significant increase of applicants that are leaving the “Are you male or female?” question blank on their 2010-2011 FAFSA on the Web application, compared with prior award years.

When the “Are you male or female?” question is left blank and the applicant is in the age range that requires registration with the Selective Service, the Central Processing System (CPS) automatically sends the applicant’s data to the Selective Service for matching. If the Selective Service is unable to verify registration, a SAR C flag is set on the resulting Student Aid Report (SAR) and Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).

Our research indicates that the increase in the number of applicants leaving the “Are you male or female?” question blank is resulting primarily from the current location of the question in the Student Demographics section of the FAFSA on the Web application. The “Are you male or female?” question is displayed in close proximity to fields that are pre-filled with data provided earlier in the process (such as first and last name), and to the right of these questions, which we believe is causing applicants to overlook it.

By relocating the “Are you male or female?” question directly below the “Your Date of Birth” question, we believe students will notice and complete the question, thus decreasing the number of FAFSA on the Web applications processed with a SAR C flag.

We regret any inconvenience or additional work this issue may have caused you or your students.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding FAFSA on the Web, please contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800/4-FED-AID (800/433-3243) or by e-mail at FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov. TDD/TTY service is also available at 800/730-8913. When prompted to speak a menu option, say “Web site assistance.”

   

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