Legislation May Make it Easier to File a FAFSA

Don’t you just love filling out the FAFSA?  In case you haven’t had the pleasure of filling out this form, it stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s the form the federal government uses to determine how much your family (or you, if you’re an independent) can pay for college.  The FAFSA is 11 pages long.  Loads of fun!fafsa

Happily, thanks to new legislation in Congress, it may soon be simpler to file a FAFSA.

Basically, here’s how it works.  The current FAFSA takes an ungodly long time to fill out in part because parents and students have to report all of their tax information. It’s kind of like having to do your taxes twice–and repeat this every single year that someone in the family is in college.  If this new legislation passes, the IRS will be able to share information with the Department of Education, so this info won’t have to be reported twice.  Imagine that.

The advantage of this legislation isn’t just that people will be freed from mountains of paperwork. The real problem is that some students and parents who are eligible for financial aid don’t bother filling out the intimidating form and lose out on money they really need, which, in some cases, means no college.  Does that sound like an uncommon problem?  It’s not.

So please, President Bush, sign the bill. It’s sailed through the House and the Senate, and it’s a no-brainer.

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