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The Education Department said Tuesday it will fix a technical glitch in its new Free Application for Federal Student Aid that has locked out students whose parents do not have Social Security numbers.

The agency announced the fix, which is supposed to be implemented by mid-March, in new guidance that offers those students a temporary workaround in the meantime. Students should wait for the permanent fix, the department said, and only use the workaround if they have to meet a deadline for state or institutional aid. 

The temporary solution is to have students fill out their section and manually enter their parents’ income and tax information, leaving the Social Security number section blank. They can then submit the application without the signature of the parent who doesn’t have a Social Security number. That submitted application will be considered incomplete, however, and will need to be corrected in order for students to find out how much aid they are eligible for. 

Students can’t correct their FAFSAs until the department begins processing the applications, which the agency is supposed to do in the first half of next month.

The technical glitch is “one of the most serious issues” with the new form, a group of lawmakers wrote in a letter to the Education Department last week. Illinois representative Jesús “Chuy” García, a Democrat who signed the letter, said in a statement that the temporary solution is not an “adequate answer” to their concerns. “The department must continue to rectify these errors in rollout so no student is blocked from the aid they need,” García said.

Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said in a statement that the temporary fix will be confusing and burdensome to many and shouldn’t distract from the need for a permanent solution.

“This adds to the growing list of can’t-miss priorities that the department must deliver in the month of March, a timeline students and institutions desperately need the department to meet,” Draeger said. “Any further delays would be disastrous for both students and schools.”