Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) yesterday proposed legislation that eventually could be wrapped into the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency (FAST) Act, among other provisions, would simplify the 108-question Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Under the legislation, the FAFSA would become a postcard-sized form with two questions: household income from two years ago and current family size. The bill also would restore year-round Pell Grants and streamline all federal grant and loan programs into, according to the senators, "one Pell Grant program, one undergraduate loan program, one graduate loan program, and one parent loan program."
Some of the bill’s other provisions deal with over-borrowing by students and the early notification of student financial aid.
To read more about the issue and the pending HEA reauthorization, see:
Fixing the Fafsa, a Popular Idea, Makes Its Way to Congress
The Chronicle of Higher Education (June 20, 2014)
Senators Start In on HEA
Inside Higher Ed (June 20, 2014)
OPINION: An Answer on a Postcard
The New York Times (June 18, 2014)
Faster FAFSA: New Bill Would Speed Up Financial Aid Application
Miami Herald (June 19, 2014)