Yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously passed the Faster Access to Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act. The bill, strongly supported by NASFAA, would, through better integration with the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service, simplify the financial aid application, verification, and student loan repayment processes. NASFAA calls on the House of Representatives to take up the bill in the new year.
As NASFAA's full summary explains, this bill, introduced by Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), takes the important step of amending both the Internal Revenue Code and Higher Education Act (HEA) to allow for cross-agency data-sharing that would greatly reduce verification burden and improve the federal student aid system for students and borrowers.
“The FAFSA Act not only makes the application process easier for students, but does so while preserving the integrity of the student aid programs,” NASFAA President Justin Draeger said. "The financial aid community urges swift action on this bill in the new year so that work can begin to reduce the application and data verification burden that continues to overwhelm students and institutions.”
Alexander in a press release published today sang the bill's praises. “Over and over families have asked me, 'I’ve already given most of this information to the federal government when I paid my taxes, why do I have to do it again—once is enough,'" he said. "This legislation will make completing the complicated FAFSA much easier for students and families—allowing them to answer up to 22 questions on the form with one simple click, while securing the applicant’s data. It is my hope that the U.S. House of Representatives swiftly passes this legislation."
Publication Date: 12/20/2018