Alexander Says Senate Takes “Big 1st Step” In Simplifying The FAFSA For 20 Million American Families

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Thursday said, “The Senate has taken a big first step in simplifying the FAFSA for 20 million families, including eight million minority students,” after the Senate passed bipartisan legislation that makes permanent $255 million in annual funding for HBCUs, cuts up to 22 questions from the federal student aid application form (FAFSA), and eliminates bureaucratic verification nightmare for most students.

 

The bipartisan amendment to the House-passed FUTURE Act is sponsored by Senator Alexander, Senate education committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wa.) and Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Doug Jones (D-Al.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-De.).

 

“It’s hard to think of a piece of legislation that would have more of a lasting impact on minority students and their families than this bill,” Senator Alexander said of the legislation.

  

“First, it provides permanent funding – that is fully paid for – for HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions attended by over 2 million minority students.

Second, after five years of bipartisan effort, it greatly simplifies the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – the FAFSA – that 20 million families, including 8 million minority students, fill out every year to qualify for federal student aid.

 

“This bipartisan provision stops families from having to give their same tax information to the federal government twice – first to the IRS, then again to the U.S. Department of Education. Students give permission to the IRS and the Department of Education to share tax return data, which eliminates up to 22 questions on the FAFSA with one click. It should eliminate most of the so-called ‘verification’ process, which is a bureaucratic nightmare that 5.5 million students go through annually to make sure the information they gave to the Department of Education is exactly the same as they gave to the IRS. And according to the Department of Education, it helps taxpayers by eliminating up to $6 billion each year in mistakes – both in overpayments and underpayments – in Pell grants and student loans.

 

 “The final step to simplify the FAFSA is to pass additional legislation that will reduce the 108 questions on the FAFSA to a total of between 18 and 30 questions and make Pell grants predictable so students can know how much grant aid they will receive to attend college.”

  

Background on the Amendment:

  • Permanently reauthorizes and provides $255 million in annual mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions
  • Is fully paid for by including the FAFSA Act which passed the Senate unanimously last year:
  • Allows providing tax information only once—Students do not have to give their tax information to the federal government twice.
  • Eliminates up to 22 questions—Students give permission to the Department of Education to request tax return data already given to the Internal Revenue Service, which reduces the 108 questions on the FAFSA by up to 22 questions.
  • Eliminates verification nightmare—For most students, eliminates so-called “verification” which is a bureaucratic nightmare that 5.5 million students go through annually to make sure the information they gave to the U.S. Department of Education is exactly the same as they gave to the IRS.
  • Eliminates $6 billion in mistakes—According to the U.S. Department of Education, helps taxpayers by eliminating up to $6 billion each year in mistakes (both overpayments and underpayments) in Pell grants and student loans.
  • Enables 7 million applicants who are currently unable to access their IRS data for their FAFSA to verify that they do not file taxes without requesting separate documentation from the IRS
  • Streamlines income-driven repayment by eliminating burdensome annual paperwork for 7.7 million federal student loan borrowers on income-driven plans
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, the FAFSA Act saves taxpayers $2.8 billion over ten years which will be used to pay for the permanent funding for HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions.

Cougar Nation Grows, Cleveland State Enrollment Spike Continues

CSCC President Dr. Bill Seymour Speaks At Sunrise Rotary Club

GNTC Foundation Receives $10,000 Donation


With more than half of the colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system seeing their enrollment drop this semester, Cleveland State Community College is leading the enrollment charge in ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour spoke to the Sunrise Rotary Club Thursday. Dr. Seymour addressed everything from enrollment spikes at CSCC for four straight semesters ... (click for more)

The Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation was presented with a donation of $10,000 from The Georgia Power Foundation, Inc. to be used to assist outstanding students with their tuition, ... (click for more)


Student Scene

Cougar Nation Grows, Cleveland State Enrollment Spike Continues

With more than half of the colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system seeing their enrollment drop this semester, Cleveland State Community College is leading the enrollment charge in the Volunteer State once again. For the fourth consecutive semester, the Cougar Nation saw its full-time enrollment grow. In an economy in which colleges tend to see student body size take ... (click for more)

CSCC President Dr. Bill Seymour Speaks At Sunrise Rotary Club

Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour spoke to the Sunrise Rotary Club Thursday. Dr. Seymour addressed everything from enrollment spikes at CSCC for four straight semesters to the birth of the college’s brand new Honors College. Cleveland State’s full-time enrollment growth this semester is number one within the State of Tennessee’s Board of Regents ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Patrick Godwin Murder Tied To Boyfriend Of Female Co-Worker

The boyfriend of a female co-worker has been tied to the mysterious murder of an Ooltewah man who was shot and killed outside his home. Sanel Durakovic, 25, has been charged by Sheriff's Office detectives with first-degree murder in the Jan. 7 slaying of 57-year-old Patrick Godwin. Authorities said Godwin was a hairdresser who worked at the Tease Salon with Sabina Blue, the ... (click for more)

District Attorney Neal Pinkston Closes File On Collegedale Quota Investigation

District Attorney Neal Pinkston has told the TBI to close its investigation of an alleged quota arrest system at the Collegedale Police Department. He said new "performance standards" adopted by the department could be construed as quotas, but he said the system was withdrawn when questions were raised about it. Three former Collegedale Police officers filed a $2 million federal ... (click for more)

Opinion

A Lack Of Civility At The Women's Rally

The behavior of our local radical left women was abusive and uncalled for. The next Woman’s Rally and March should be lessons in common decency and civility towards other women. Interrupting an invited female speaker with displays of yelling and holding up disparaging signs is wrong. The women before me that broke the barriers in male-dominated professions would be embarrassed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

I love the story that is going around about a guy being interviewed in one of these desperation job fairs – with unemployment figures as low as they are – and the kid is being interviewed by Volkswagen. The boy is smart but, better yet, he’s passed the drug test. As the recruiter pushed to close the deal, he says, “We’ll start you at $25,000 but a little later you’ll be up to $40,000.” ... (click for more)