Updated 12/10/2019 at 7:35 p.m.
Editor's Note: The Senate unanimously passed the latest version of the FUTURE Act on Tuesday evening. The bill now heads to President Donald Trump to be signed into law. Trump last week sent a tweet expressing his support for the bill and is expected to sign it. NASFAA previously published an analysis of the Senate-amended bill.
A House bill that would fund Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and allow for direct data sharing between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Education (ED) is quickly advancing through Congress. On Tuesday afternoon, the House overwhelmingly voted to move forward with its Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act after Senators passed an amended version of the bill late last week. It will now return to the Senate for a final vote.
NASFAA over the weekend asked members to contact their representatives in the House to urge them to support the amended bill for its potential to greatly reduce verification burden and improve the federal student aid system for students and borrowers. NASFAA also signed on to a letter with more than 40 other higher education groups ahead of the House vote Tuesday.
Following the Senate's vote on the bill last Thursday, the House made some small changes to the bill, which Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) helped to negotiate, POLITICO reported.
The most significant change concerned the issue of consent. FAFSA applicants and borrowers in income-driven repayment (IDR) plans or applying for total and permanent disability (TPD) loan discharges must provide approval for the direct data sharing between the IRS and ED. While borrowers in IDR or applying for a TPD discharge are allowed to opt out of the data sharing, FAFSA applicants must consent to the IRS/ED data sharing or their FAFSAs will not be processed and they will be ineligible to receive Title IV aid.
The House passed the FUTURE Act by a vote of 319 to 96. Alexander said Tuesday during a press conference for the bill that he believes Trump will sign it by the end of the year.
Publication Date: 12/10/2019