"U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has praised a Senate committee for moving forward with legislation to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports. "DeVos’ praise followed a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee about reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and proposals for simplifying the aid application. The hearing, led by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., featured testimonies from Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), among other key education professionals and advocates."
"DeVos acknowledged that Washington officials have been talking about simplifying the FAFSA application process for years. With the introduction of the Simple FAFSA Act of 2017 on Nov. 16, she says, 'Now is the time for action.'
Earlier this month, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., introduced the Simple FAFSA legislation to help make it easier for college-going students to access the billions of dollars of federal aid money available to them.
Several provisions in the bill call for the Education Department to make the FAFSA available in 11 foreign languages and for the secretary to standardize financial aid letters across all institutions receiving Title IV funding.
A provision to use the previous year’s existing tax data from the Internal Revenue Service’s Data Retrieval Tool is a highlight of the legislation and will allow students to complete their FAFSA in less time.
'With today’s technology, we no longer need to make the tradeoff between simplification and accuracy, as we’ve had to do in the past,' said Draeger during his hearing testimony. 'By relying on timing and technology, NASFAA believes Congress can dramatically reduce the number of questions for all applicants, but most of all for low-income students.'"
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Publication Date: 11/30/2017