"A U.S. Senate committee Tuesday heard testimony on ways to simply the application process for federal college student aid," according to the United Press International.
"The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is examining proposals to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
This year, an estimated $2.3 billion in federal financial aid grants wasn't claimed because eligible graduates failed to complete and submit the FAFSA.
Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, testified at Tuesday's hearing. NASFAA represents financial aid administrators at 2,800 U.S. colleges and universities.
'Over the years, the federal government has grappled with the simplification versus accuracy tradeoff, sometimes adding questions to the FAFSA to try to achieve more specificity about a family's circumstances, and in other years taking away questions that were so complex they were deterring some students and families from even completing the form,' Draeger said in prepared testimony. 'Today, the average completion time is approximately 31 minutes... a vast improvement from the time it took to fill out the form when it was first developed. Even with such improvements, we can still do better.'
The federal government provides $40 billion in need-based aid every year, including $27 billion in Pell Grants, according to the College Board. College institutions awarded $59 billion in aid.
'The challenge before us is to put together an application that is as simple as possible but yet allows us to distinguish the truly needy from those who are not,' Draeger said."
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Publication Date: 11/29/2017