Let’s Shrink the Fafsa, Senator Tells Financial-Aid Officers

"Sen. Lamar Alexander defended his plan to scrap the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before a skeptical crowd of financial-aid administrators on Monday, telling them that the lengthy form is beyond repair," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

"In a speech at the annual conference of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators here, Mr. Alexander, a Republican of Tennessee, described his plan to replace the application, known as the FAFSA, with a postcard seeking just two pieces of information: family size and income.

'Rather than trying to reform, we’re starting from scratch,' he said.

To illustrate his point, he unfurled the 10-page form with a practiced flourish, letting it fall dramatically to the floor, and then held up a postcard template.

But some in the audience weren't convinced that the much-maligned form remained a barrier to college access. During a subsequent question-and-answer session, James Reed, director of financial aid at West Texas A&M University, disputed the senator’s assertion that it takes three hours to complete the form, arguing that it’s really only a half-hour task."

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