NASFAA Shares Its Recommendations for the Higher Education Act


Today’s federal student financial aid
system works for some, but it doesn’t work for all. As Congress works towards
reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, the bill dealing with federal student
aid programs, we have an opportunity to fix it, and open the doors to higher
education to more students. The Higher Education Act has been due for an update
since 2013. Let’s take a look at some of NASFAA’s latest recommendations for
Congress. We must strengthen need-based aid, starting with ensuring Congress
restores the purchasing power of Pell. Today the grant covers less than 30
percent of the cost of attending a four-year public institution. The
application process for federal aid needs to be simplified and stripped of
unnecessary questions that discourage students from completing the FAFSA. The
back end also needs a make-over. The current multitude of repayment options
is confusing for borrowers and we’d like to see income driven repayment plans
consolidated into a single plan. We also need to stop steering high debt
borrowers away from programs that relieve debt. That’s why we’re urging
Congress to exempt all loan forgiveness from taxes policymakers have expressed a
desire for schools to have more skin in the game by proposing new accountability
or risk sharing models tied to federal funding. As they debate the details, we
ask Congress to take into account the risk institutions already assume and to
consider the potential impact on low-income students and under-resourced
institutions. Learn more about NASFAA’s policy recommendations at NASFAA.org and
reach out to us about issues facing your schools.

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