NASFAA Mention: Divided Congress Means No Quick Fixes for Ailing Student Loan System

"The Higher Education Act — legislation that, among other things, spells out how much you can borrow from the government when you go to college, how much it will cost you, and what your options will be if you have trouble paying it back — used to be updated every 4 to 6 years," Credible reports. "... ... Now, with Congress divided after the midterm elections, many observers don’t expect the act to be reauthorized until after the 2020 elections, which would represent the longest stretch without an update since the bill’s passage in 1965."

"... Here’s a roundup of some of the issues surrounding the provision of federal student loans that some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would like to tackle.

Guidance counselors recommend that all college-bound high school students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But the FAFSA is so complex that only about 60 percent of high school grads submit the application. According to the National College Access Network, that means more than $24 billion of financial aid goes unclaimed every year.

In 2015, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) published a comprehensive set recommendations for simplifying the FAFSA. Although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have gotten behind a number of bills to streamline the FAFSA process, none of this legislation has gained any traction.

While the “net” cost of college tuition, room and board has increased 28 percent over the last decade at public schools and 11 percent at private schools, federal student loan limits haven’t budged. That’s seen as a good thing by some Republicans, who worry that easy access to federal student aid has helped drive up the cost of college. But many Democrats worry that a growing number of students are having trouble paying for school, or are turning to costlier private student loans (although rates offered by private lenders can be competitive with federal PLUS loans and loans to grad students)."

NASFAA's "Notable 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: 11/9/2018

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