For most students preparing for college, navigating the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application is a necessary but often convoluted process. Even with changes intended to speed and simplify the experience — including earlier FAFSA submission deadlines and the incorporation of prior-prior year tax data — the complexity and length of the application often results in errors and low completion rates, with over $24 billion going unclaimed in federal aid each year.
For this reason College Forward, in partnership with the National College Access Network (NCAN) and its member organizations around the country, has participated in a national push to simplify the FAFSA and help more students receive the aid they need to succeed.
In early February 2017 College Forward joined NCAN policy council members in several days of FAFSA advocacy. After a morning summit that included a presentation of NCAN’s latest report, “Half the FAFSA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Student Aid” and a panel discussion with students from around the country, NCAN policy council members met with Congressional offices to share student stories and experiences regarding federal financial aid. On behalf of students in the Lone Star State, College Forward visited the offices of U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representatives Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett, Will Hurd, and John Ratcliffe.
For more information on NCAN’s FAFSA simplification efforts and proposals, visit www.collegeaccess.org/fixfafsa.