FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Powers
Director of Marketing & Communications
WASHINGTON, DC, June 11, 2021 — The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was formally signed into law on December 27, 2020, contained a number of higher education-related policy changes, including simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), increasing the maximum Federal Pell Grant award and expanding the program to incarcerated students, and giving financial aid offices more flexibility in professional judgment (PJ) cases during a national emergency. On Friday, Department of Education leaders held a call in which they described the forthcoming implementation plans.
"The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the key to unlocking billions of financial aid dollars for millions of students each year," said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. "In December 2020, Congress passed legislation that will make the form easier to complete, and change federal formulas that will result in more students qualifying for Federal Pell Grants. These changes cannot come soon enough. But of equal importance is that changes to the form be done in an orderly way to ensure there are no disruptions to the application cycle for students or schools. These two objectives are not mutually exclusive, and we are pleased to see the Department of Education moving forward to implement several provisions early. We’re examining the impact and implementation of these early provisions now. We are, however, disappointed that some changes that will benefit students will be delayed for one additional year, until the 2024-25 school year. We look forward to working with the Department for a smooth on-ramp for students and schools."
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides professional development for financial aid administrators; advocates for public policies that increase student access and success; serves as a forum on student financial aid issues; and is committed to diversity throughout all activities. NASFAA’s membership includes 22,000 student financial assistance 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.
Publication Date: 6/11/2021