"Democrats on the Committee on Education and the Workforce recently introduced new legislation that would simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form," according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
"On Thursday, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester D-Del., introduced the Simple FAFSA Act of 2017 that will amend the Higher Education Act, removing barriers for students seeking financial aid by simplifying the FAFSA application process. Legislative changes include requiring the FAFSA to be filed only one time, providing the FAFSA in multiple languages and creating a standardized financial aid award letter.
The bill is co-led by Ranking Member Robert 'Bobby' Scott, D-Va., Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., and Delegate Gregorio Sablan, I-Northern Mariana Islands.
'For many students, obtaining a college education or post-graduate certification is their ticket to a fulfilling career and a good paying job, but for students seeking federal financial aid, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) imposes burdensome requirements that too often create a barrier to entry for federal grants and loans, not a window of opportunity,” said Rochester, adding that it “takes a good government approach in bringing students closer to the financial aid programs available to them...'
Megan McClean Coval, vice president of policy and federal relations at NASFAA, said that her organization developed a similar proposal to this year’s Simple FASFA Act back in 2015. She said that she welcomed the opportunity to work with the Congress members to find a “common-sense approach” to FAFSA simplification using existing technology to make the form more efficient and accessible for low-income students, Coval said.
'While the Department of Education has made important strides in FAFSA simplification in the past…the process can still be daunting and lengthy for low-income students,' she said. 'Provisions that allow the consideration of other means-tested benefits and the expansion of the [IRS Data Retrieval Tool] will allow for our lowest-income students to experience a straightforward, simple and accurate process.'"
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Publication Date: 11/20/2017