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Lawmakers Introduce the College Aid Made EZ Act
By Brooke Heath
Last week, key House lawmakers introduced a bill that would simplify the application that parents and students must complete to receive federal financial aid for college.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is, in its current state, a complex, five-page form. Lawmakers feel that this prevents students from applying for the federal financial aid they need to attend college.

"The application process for federal college aid could confuse even tax experts, let alone students and parents. It is ridiculous that major companies can fill out a 13-question form to apply for a million-dollar loan, but students and parents must answer over 100 questions to apply for college financial assistance," said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.

With deadlines to receive federal aid fast approaching, lawmakers want to condense the form to two pages to help make the college loan and scholarship application process more efficient and fairer for students and families. Condensing the FAFSA is part of the College Aid Made EZ Act introduced by U.S. Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Rahm Emanuel (D-IL).

"This bill will simplify the financial aid process and help expand college access for all qualified students-an important part of our plans to make college more affordable," Miller added.

According to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, the College Aid Made EZ Act would simplify the federal college aid application process by:
  • Establishing a FAFSA-EZ form that would cut the FAFSA down from its current length of five pages to just two, significantly reducing the number of questions that students and families must answer to qualify for college aid;
  • Creating a pre-FAFSA to allow students and parents to apply for financial aid while students are juniors in high school, providing families one extra year to plan for how to cover college costs;
  • Encouraging coordination with the Internal Revenue Service to use information the government already has, eliminating the need for applicants to re-submit income and asset information they have already provided on their tax forms; and
  • Improving online access to the FAFSA, speeding up the application process, and allowing more students to apply for aid via the Internet.
Miller and Emanuel feel that simplifying the FAFSA application process is a key element in solving the problem of America's decreasing college completion rates and overall economic competitiveness.


Article Title : Lawmakers Introduce the College Aid Made EZ Act
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Schools Will No Longer Receive Paper FAFSA Forms
(September 20, 2007)

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