Thanks to Congress approval, the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) has been simplified and made more accessible to students seeking student loans and grants.
Mentioning past tax returns is no long necessary while completing aid applications and the IRS will correspond with the Department of Education about family income information, effectively removing around twenty questions from the form. In addition, this legislation will provide students the opportunity to pay their debt in reduced amounts per month based on their income.
Kaitlyn Vitez – the director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group – believes, “This one simple change will have a pretty huge impact for student borrowers.”
Students will be unable to apply for student loans or federal grants without completing the form.
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In the past, students were required to update the amount of income they made every year in their paperwork, or else potentially pay more to the monthly loan bill than was necessary. Now that the Department of Education and the IRS will be in direct correspondence, this information will be automatically updated.
This legislation will also permanently fund minority-serving institutions, such as historically black universities like Morehouse College.
The House and Senate recently passed these changes amidst bipartisan support and President Donald Trump will likely sign the bill, with the potential of being in effect for students in the upcoming school year.
Lawmakers are also discussing further refurbishment to the Higher Education Act. One such change involves eliminating close to one hundred questions from the FAFSA form, led by Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander.