Legislative Tracker: FAFSA Simplification

Legislative Tracker LogoOn this page, you'll find proposals to streamline or modify the federal financial aid application process.

For FAFSA simplification proposals from the previous session of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: FAFSA Simplification.   

 

*NEW* FAFSA Fairness Act
S. 2596 Sponsor:
Sen. Cardin (D-MD)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
3/22/2018
HR 5390 Sponsor:
Rep. Cummings (D-MD)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/22/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would allow students who do not have contact with their parents to submit their FAFSA applications with a "provisionally independent" status, essentially applying for a dependency override. The institutions would then be able to calculate and deliver provisional aid packages to the students.
 
Student Aid Enhancement Act
HR 4662 Sponsor:
Rep. Lawson (D-FL)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
12/15/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would exclude the income and assets of dependent students in the calculation of the expected family contribution (EFC). 
 
PROSPER Act
HR 4508 Sponsor:
Rep. Foxx (R-NC) 
Co-Sponsors:
21 (21 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
12/1/2017 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act is a comprehensive Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill with notable changes to the federal student aid programs. 
Status: 12/13/2017: Passed House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
 
Simple FAFSA Act
HR 4416 Sponsor:
Rep. Blunt Rochester (D-DE)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (0 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
11/16/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive FAFSA simplification bill would codify the use of prior-prior year (PPY) income data on the FAFSA and create a three-pathway model for the FAFSA similar to the one proposed by NASFAA's 2015 FAFSA Working Group. The EFC formula would be changed to result in a more generous treatment of student and, in some cases, parent income. The income threshold for automatic zero EFC would increase to $34,000 and would increase with inflation. The definition of untaxed income is narrowed significantly under the bill. The bill repeals the 1998 prohibition on students with certain drug offense convictions, as well as those who fail to register with the Selective Service System, from receiving federal student assistance, a change NASFAA has supported for some time. It also grants Title IV eligibility to undocumented “Dreamer” students, defined for these purposes as those who entered the U.S. prior to reaching age 16 and have either earned or are in the process of earning a high school diploma or associate's degree, have been eligible for a grant of deferred action, or have served in the uniformed services. Finally, the bill requires ED to create a standardized financial aid shopping sheet to allow for simpler comparison of financial aid offers by different institutions. 
 
Streamlining FAFSA Act
HR 4402 Sponsor:
Rep. Chu (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
11/15/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would allow independent students without dependents to qualify for an automatic zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) if the student meets the requirements for the auto-zero EFC as independent students with dependents other than a spouse. 
 
Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act
HR 3740 Sponsor:
Rep. Clark (D-MA)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (1 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
9/12/2017
S. 1795 Sponsor:
Sen. Murray (D-WA)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/12/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill seeks to resolve a number of issues that continue to pose barriers to higher education for unaccompanied youths who are either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of homelessness.
 
Reduce Barriers to College Act
HR 3516 Sponsor:
Rep. Veasey (D-TX)
Co-Sponsors:
11 (0 R; 11 D)
Introduced:
7/27/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill aims to make the process of obtaining a verification of non-filing (VONF) letter easier by allowing students and parents to upload documents such as household utility bills, student transcripts, and bank account statements as a way to authenticate and complete the online VONF request process. The IRS would also be required to respond to all VONF requests within 10 business days.
 
FAFSA Translation Act
HR 3082 Sponsor:
Rep. Meng (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (0 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
6/27/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would require the Department of Education to translate the FAFSA into not fewer than 11 foreign languages, to be determined by the Secretary, and available in paper and on the web.
 
Equitable Student Aid Access Act
HR 2015 Sponsor:
Rep. Doggett (D-TX)
Co-Sponsors:
79 (0 R; 79 D)
Introduced:
4/6/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would add receipt of a federal means-tested benefits program (such as SSI, SNAP, and Medicaid) as a sole qualifier for an auto-zero expected family contribution (EFC) determination. This change would allow students and families who have already demonstrated high need to automatically qualify for maximum federal student aid, thereby reducing the FAFSA to personal identity and non-income eligibility questions. In addition, the bill codifies the Early FAFSA and use of prior-prior year (PPY) tax information put into place by former President Barrack Obama via executive action in fall 2015, ensuring that students will continue to be able submit their federal financial aid application for the coming school year in October rather than in January using data financial data filed with the IRS two years prior.
 
SUCCESS Act
HR 1432 Sponsor:
Rep. Bass (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (1 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
3/8/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success (SUCCESS) Act repeals the suspension of eligibility for drug-related offenses provision in the Higher Education Act and prohibits the U.S. Department of Education from asking federal financial aid applicants if they have been convicted of a drug offense.

 

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Publication Date: 4/23/2018


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