NASFAA Mention: FUTURE Act: What Students, Borrowers Should Know

"Late in 2019, many higher education advocates and experts declared the FUTURE Act a major win for college financial aid – but how exactly will the legislation passed in Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump affect students seeking aid in the coming cycles?" according to U.S. News & World Report.

"This law has an impact on prospective and current students as well as some graduates with federal student loans. While students can expect unpredictability when paying for college in 2020 and some minor changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, this cycle, significant changes resulting from the FUTURE Act may take a few years, experts say.

... Automatic data transfer from the IRS to the Department of Education may also eliminate or reduce the need for income verification, a manual process of proving the information a family submitted on the FAFSA is correct.

This income verification 'holds up the process for a lot of students, especially low-income students,' says Megan Coval, vice president of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, as those with the lowest income are most frequently selected.

The timeline for these changes, however, is uncertain. Students completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA won't see any changes, but those doing so in subsequent cycles may.

'This is very welcome news, but it's also a really big change and will require a lot of work in the back end by the IRS and the Department of Education,' Coval says. While it may take a few cycles to see a simplified FAFSA, she says work toward implementation has already begun.

College graduates who borrowed federal student loans to pay for school and are on an income-driven repayment plan will also see a simplified income verification process as a result of the FUTURE Act.

'This secure transfer of IRS data will also eliminate the need for student borrowers to self-certify their income to prove their eligibility for federal Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans,' Lori Vedder, financial aid director at the University of Michigan—Flint, wrote in an email."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 1/28/2020

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