NASFAA Urges President-Elect Trump and Congress to Focus on "Making Financial Aid Work for All" in 2017

New Report Outlines Recommendations on Strengthening Need-Based Aid, Simplifying the Application Process, and Curbing Student Indebtedness

Today’s federal student financial aid system works for some, but it doesn’t work for all. As President-elect Donald Trump and new members of the 115th United States Congress ready themselves to take office, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) offers recommendations to improve college access and success through the federal student aid programs.

As we continue to inch towards reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, NASFAA has formulated recommendations based on various member-based policy task-forces over the past several years. NASFAA’s new 2017 priorities document—"Making Financial Aid Work for All"—offers a high-level outline of potential areas of focus. Some key recommendations include:

  • Restore year-round Federal Pell Grant, consider a “Super Pell” that incentivizes timely completion, and shift the program to full mandatory funding;
  • Revise the campus-based aid allocation formula;
  • Eliminate both the tie between student eligibility and drug convictions and the provision requiring institutions to monitor and enforce Selective Service registration;
  • Advance the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to support a path to citizenship for certain undocumented students;
  • Simplify the FAFSA by directing applicants down one of three paths based on predicted financial strength as proposed in NASFAA’s FAFSA Working Group report;
  • Eliminate origination fees and modify the current structure of loan limits;  
  • Consolidate and simplify the federal loan repayment plans.

“The way the federal financial aid system is currently structured fails to fully meet the needs of today’s college students,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “As reauthorization of the HEA approaches, we have a real chance to simplify the financial aid application process, curb indebtedness and restructure the federal loan repayment system, get better information out to students and families, and mitigate some of the unnecessary regulatory burden placed on both students and schools. We look forward to continued collaboration with Congress, the Department of Education, and the White House to focus on making the programs more flexible so they better align with the changing behaviors of students and the financial aid offices that serve them.”

To request an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson please email timmonse@nasfaa.org or call (202) 785-6959.

About NASFAA

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.

Publication Date: 12/12/2016

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