NASFAA Releases Priorities for Higher Education Act

NASFAA’s recommendations for Congress span strengthening the FAFSA and need-based aid to improving loan repayment programs.

August 22, 2019—As 2020 presidential candidates continue to tout aggressive proposals on the campaign trail to help students earn degrees and excel in the workforce—from national free college to cancelling all student loan debt—Congress is rethinking the federal role in higher education as it works toward rewriting the Higher Education Act (HEA). 

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) today published its most recent recommendations for Congress as it navigates the process of restructuring antiquated federal student aid programs and increasing access to higher education.

“The HEA is the vehicle through which Congress signals its support for college access and federal student aid, and can be a catalyst for modeling the future of higher education,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “NASFAA’s recommendations for Congress would restructure crucial programs to adapt to the changing needs of students and the institutions that serve them—and set up a flexible framework that will carry us through the next decade of innovation.” 

NASFAA’s recommendations span strengthening need-based aid through the Pell Grant program and simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to consolidating loan repayment plans and standardizing language in financial aid aid offers. Some highlights include:

  • Codify prior-prior year (PPY), which allows students to apply for financial aid earlier on by using information from two tax years prior

  • Eliminate student loan origination fees

  • Expand data-sharing between the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service

NASFAA policy experts and financial aid administrators can discuss NASFAA’s recommendations for Congress. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact NASFAA Director of Marketing and Communication Erin Powers at 202-785-6959 or [email protected].

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

Publication Date: 8/22/2019

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