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Fixing FAFSA

Seniors participate in graduation for the Mastery Charter School Lenfest Campus in Philadelphia on the campus of Temple University, June 20, 2014.

The current process of applying for federal financial aid is one of the biggest barriers to a postsecondary education. Under the current system, as many as 2 million students who are likely eligible for aid don’t even apply.

The existing FAFSA hurts not only students—for whom college represents the surest path to a well-paying job—but our economy as well. By 2025, two-thirds of all jobs in the United States will require education beyond high school. And yet, at the current rate we are producing college graduates, there will be an estimated shortfall of 11 million workers with the postsecondary credentials to fill those jobs.

The current FAFSA is complex, redundant, and poorly timed. The good news is there are pragmatic steps we can take to fix the FAFSA and help many more students make it to and through college. By removing unnecessary questions and tailoring the application to the complexity of the student’s financial situation, using already submitted tax data, and having students submit tax information from a full year earlier, more students will be able to apply to get the aid they need.

Meeting the nation’s economic needs will require better outcomes for all students—especially those most at risk of not making it to or through college: students from low-income backgrounds and students who are the first in their family to attend college. “Better for Students: Simplifying the Federal Financial Aid Process” is a commonsense proposal—informed by the work of diverse partners and leading experts—to fix the FAFSA and help ensure all students who seek the opportunity have access to financial aid dollars to help complete a high-quality, affordable postsecondary education.

Resources:

“Better for Students: Simplifying the Federal Financial Aid Process” Report Summary

“Better for Students: Simplifying the Federal Financial Aid Process” Full Report

“Simplifying Federal Student Aid: How Do the Plans Stack Up?” Overview and Full Report by the Urban Institute

Infographic: Why We Need to #FixFAFSA

Fix FAFSA infographic

 


Updates

Consumers get more information about college

July 28, 2016

Even as a higher education becomes among the biggest investments Americans make, the information available
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Emergency Aid Keeps Students on Path to Graduation

July 6, 2016

Although students and their families plan for the cost of tuition, fees, housing, and textbooks,
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The Typical College Student Is Not Who You Think It Is

July 5, 2016

Who are today’s college students? The answer surprises most people who attended four year universities.
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‘Passport’ for Transfer

Professors and academic leaders from seven western states have rolled out an “interstate passport” to
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College deadlines complicate Early FAFSA

The Obama administration’s new Oct. 1 FAFSA release date was supposed to make it easier
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Families Often Underestimate Financial Aid Eligibility

Just 24 percent of parents and 37 percent of students believe they will qualify for
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Community college students are filling the rolls at four-year institutions

Public colleges and universities are drawing a large percentage of their students from community colleges,
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Study casts doubt on value of remedial math for college

June 27, 2016

Colleges routinely force students with weak math skills to take remedial classes before enrolling in
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Minnesota community colleges clear a path for four-year degrees

For many students, community college is the first step toward earning a bachelor’s degree. But
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Texas HBCU Launches Think Tank to Groom Next Generation of Black Leaders

One of the oldest HBCUs in the nation is working to cultivate the next generation
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