Recently, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), spoke during a US Senate HELP (The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) committee hearing about fixing the FAFSA, finally. During the hearing, Senator Lamar proposed five changes to streamline the FAFSA:
- Reduce total questions on the FAFSA from 108 questions to a maximum of 33 questions;
- End the Department of Education’s lengthy financial data verification process by removing unnecessary financial questions and instead use only the financial data that will come directly from the IRS starting in the 2023-2024 school year;
- Continue to collect and provide states and colleges with the information they need to determine State and Institutional aid;
- Create a simple Pell Grant eligibility formula so that middle and high school students (and anyone interested in applying for aid) will know how much Pell Grant money they have to go to college; and
- Makes it easier for students who are homeless, in the foster system, or not in touch with their parents to apply for aid as independent students, making the application much simpler.
According to Senator Alexander’s remarks, enacting these changes will enable more students to receive the Pell Grant along with many other students receiving the maximum Pell Grant. The time is now to fix the FAFSA for students and their families.