From Inside Higher Ed:

Students and parents will be able to import their tax information directly from the IRS website to the online FAFSA in a pilot program beginning early next year, a representative of the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid program revealed during Wednesday’s negotiated rulemaking session on the verification of information on student aid applications. Stephanie Gross, team leader for FAFSA on the Web, said the department will offer the option for first-time and renewal applicants beginning January 24. By next summer, it will be open to all applicants from the start of the 2010-11 application process.

This is good news, as is anything that makes the FAFSA completion process easier. And since the government already has that information, why not?

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Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.