Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Calls to Simplify Federal Financial Aid Process Grow

By Caralee J. Adams — July 13, 2015 1 min read

Calling the process to apply for federal financial aid complex, redundant, and poorly timed, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has joined the push for FAFSA reform.

The Seattle-based nonprofit maintains that the difficulty in completing the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid hits disadvantaged students especially hard and creates a barrier to higher education in a new policy paper released last week. (The Gates foundation supports coverage of the implementation of college- and career-ready standards in Education Week.)

With more than 100 questions, the FAFSA can be daunting and nearly two million students who are eligible for federal aid do not apply, according to the paper. To simply the process, the Gates Foundation proposes three recommendations:

1. Allow students without complex financial situations to fill out shorter forms;

2. Have tax information that families have already supplied to the Internal Revenue Service be used on the FAFSA;

3. Start the application sooner by letting students use tax information from two years earlier rather than the prior year.

Ultimately, the foundation’s goal is to eliminate the FAFSA altogether and instead determine student eligibility for financial aid based on their family’s income tax filing.

Pressure to simplify the financial aid process is growing.

Last year, several organizations, including the American Council on Education, urged the administration to change the timeline for the FAFSA so students could apply earlier. Lawmakers are also considering ways to streamline the application and loan process as it renews the Higher Education Act.

College costs top the list of concerns for incoming students and are a major source of stress, a survey out earlier this month from Ohio State revealed.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read