NASFAA Statement on Department of Education’s FAFSA-Related Burden Relief Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hugh Ferguson
(202) 785-6947
[email protected]

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEBRUARY 13, 2024 — Today, the U.S. Department of Education issued an Electronic Announcement to the higher education community, outlining much-needed administrative burden relief to help colleges prepare to process student financial aid forms faster and more efficiently - and get critical information on how to pay for college in the hands of students as quickly as possible.

These relief measures for schools align with recommendations made by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), which has advocated for the Department to ease the administrative burden on financial aid offices this spring so they can focus solely on their primary mission of building and communicating financial aid offers to millions of students and families. 

The new steps announced today will begin to make it easier for schools to process FAFSA records when they first arrive in March, and spend more time helping students by considerably reducing verification requirements, suspending routine school compliance reviews, and providing flexibility on procedures for renewing participation in the federal student aid programs. The Department also announced that by February 16 it would begin releasing test versions of Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs), which will enable colleges and their critical partners to prepare their own systems and processes to efficiently assemble aid packages.

In response to this news, NASFAA President & CEO Justin Draeger issued the following statement: 

“We applaud these initial measures from the Department to significantly lower student verification requirements and temporarily pause program reviews, which are critical first steps in ensuring financial aid offices - already stretched perilously thin – will have the bandwidth necessary to focus on students. 

To make this work, higher education stakeholders require a sustained effort, which includes additional administrative relief and the Department meeting its FAFSA processing timelines going forward. Schools have been told to expect test records by the end of this week, and processed FAFSA information in the first half of March, which will be vital to provide students and families with need-based financial aid information this spring. Students and families cannot afford any additional delays.

We are committed to working with the Department in the spirit of collaboration and open dialogue as we tackle these challenges together.”

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About NASFAA 

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 29,000 financial aid professionals at approximately 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the U.S. 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.

Publication Date: 2/13/2024


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