NASFAA Statement on Changes to Federal Student Aid Policy in FY 2021 Spending Bill

Lawmakers Take Meaningful Steps to Simplify FAFSA, Expand Pell Grant Eligibility, and Repeal Subsidized Loan Eligibility Limitations

Contact: Erin Powers
Director of Marketing & Communications 
(202) 785-6959 
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC, DEC. 21, 2020 — As we move into a new Congress and presidential administration, prospects for a long-overdue comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) are unclear, but lawmakers took important steps today to support future college students by attaching several major student aid policy provisions to the fiscal year (FY) 2021 omnibus spending bill, dubbed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

NASFAA President Justin Draeger issued the following statement:

“The financial aid community applauds the bipartisan work in Congress to simplify the federal student aid application process and improve financial aid predictability for students. During this time of crisis, lawmakers showed up for students by expanding Pell Grant eligibility and lengthening students’ eligibility for subsidized loans. Of course, passing last-minute bills of this magnitude is not our preferred way of tackling financial aid reform, and there are several provisions in this expansive bill that require closer scrutiny. But it has been 12 years since the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and we should not — and cannot — wait any longer on bills that will have such an overwhelmingly positive impact on students. We look forward to working with our federal, state, and private partners to ensure a smooth rollout for students.”



The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 28,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit

Publication Date: 12/20/2020

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