Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee issued the following statement regarding the passage in the Senate of bipartisan legislation to streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and permanently extend federal funding for minority-serving institutions.
Each year, over a half million students lose the opportunity to receive federal funding for postsecondary education because they do not complete the FAFSA. Chiefs for Change has long advocated for simplifying the FAFSA and providing greater support for students as they navigate their postsecondary options, urging Congress to take up the issues on a bipartisan basis.
Today’s Senate action, announced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Health Education and Labor Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, (D-Wash), the top Democrat on the Committee, was supported by a bipartisan group of members.
If signed into law, the Senate bill would significantly shorten the FAFSA, which now includes over one hundred questions, by allowing the U.S. Department of Education to work with the Internal Revenue Service to automatically populate a portion of the application. By removing the burdensome income verification process from the FAFSA, many more students will likely complete the application and receive federal financial aid for their college education.
We commend the Senate for today’s action, and continue to call on Congress to work in a bipartisan way to pass legislation that will address this important issue and simplify the FAFSA.