NASFAA Mention: Disproportionate Burden: Estimating the Cost of FAFSA Verification for Public Colleges and Universities

"The institutional compliance costs of the FAFSA verification mandate in 2014 totaled nearly $500 million, with the burden falling disproportionately on public institutions and community colleges in particular," reports.

..."In 2014, the average institution spent $170,000 processing verifications. The total cost across U.S. institutions was $481 million. Verification costs fall more to public institutions, with two-year publics spending $225 million and four-year publics spending $189 million. The four-year private sector faces a considerably lower compliance cost burden ($67 million).

To scale the estimates by institutional resources, the authors draw on information from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators' Administrative Burden Survey for estimates of average financial aid office operating budgets by sector.

The results show that four-year and two-year public institutions devote a sizable share of their financial aid operating budget to administrating verification. The average four-year public spent 15 percent of its financial aid office operating budget to conducting verification, compared to 1 percent at the typical four-year private institution. The average community college spends 22 percent of its aid office budget on verification."

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Publication Date: 4/13/2021

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