Education Officials Aim to Simplify Student Aid Application Process

"The Education Department and senators are working on ways to make it easier for students to apply for financial aid by allowing them to answer fewer questions and do so on their phones," Bloomberg BNA reports.

"Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the department plans to create a mobile app for aid applications. Later Nov. 27, top education lawmakers in the Senate announced a revised bipartisan bill to slim down the 108-question application.

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DeVos said her department is working with Congress to streamline the student loan program. At least one proposal is expected before mid-December from Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has also sponsored legislation to pare down the number of questions on the FAFSA.

During a committee hearing Nov. 27, Alexander said he and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) are close to completing a bill that would cut down the FAFSA form from 108 questions to 15 to 25 questions, depending on how students answer questions about their family.

Alexander and Bennet introduced legislation in 2015 to reduce the number of FAFSA questions to two. While higher education groups and individual colleges embrace the idea of making it easier for students to access federal aid, there are concerns a slimmed-down FAFSA might contain too little information to be used by states, schools and outside groups that currently use FASFA to award aid.

Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, told senators at the hearing that if the form didn’t provide accurate data on a student’s finances, students might have to begin filling out multiple forms to fully access aid.

'The unifying concept of the FAFSA is that all these different grant providers can try to rely on one form so we don’t have fragmented, multiple forms throughout the process,' he said."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.

 

Publication Date: 11/30/2017

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