NASFAA Mention: What Financial Aid Offices Need to Know About Legislative Changes Ahead

"The government spending package passed at the end of 2020 included several provisions intended to extend federal financial support to more college students," Education Dive reports. 

..."Students who qualify for aid traditionally saw an Expected Family Contribution noted in their student aid package. Because the figure was not a measurement of what a family could or should pay but rather an indicator of eligibility for aid, it has been renamed as the Student Aid Index. For the first time, this figure can be negative — as low as -$1,500 — to help institutions see which students are most in need. 

The SAI formula will change slightly. While more students will gain Pell Grant eligibility than will lose it under the new formula, some middle- and higher-income students could end up paying more, said Jill Desjean, a policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."

The updates included in the new legislation will simplify work for many financial aid professionals. For instance, with IRS files automatically linked to FAFSA, verifying income will be much quicker and easier. That, in turn, will allow financial aid offices to spend less time on paperwork and more time advising students, Desjean said."

..."Financial aid administrators have some time before the changes take effect, but there's plenty of work to do to get ready. Ruby recommends aid officers start conversations now about what data needs to be studied, such as how their institutions' student populations will be affected by various changes. That will set up schools to approach future aid policy in a way that helps students and the institution. 

Also, colleges will need to plan for updating institutional publications and websites that refer to the EFC formula, Desjean said. And aid officers should familiarize themselves with the tools that become available for predicting Pell Grant eligibility, so they can help publicize their availability and be on the same page as students if they have questions about their estimated award."

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: 2/19/2021

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