Simpliflying the FAFSA

It’s hardly news that the FAFSA is a pain to fill out.

There’s been many calls in Washington to dumb down the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but nothing has worked yet.

The New York Times published a front-page story today on the latest calls to simplify the federal financial aid form.

Reformers suggest there are a couple of ways to proceed.

1. A family could simply direct the IRS to shares its tax returns with the U.S. Department of Education.  Frankly, the federal government should be able to produce a family’s expected family contribution (EFC) by just looking income tax returns.

2. Most of the questions would be eliminated, which would shrink the form to two pages. Parents would have to provide their adjusted gross income and the number of tax exemptions.

Both sound much simpler to me.

Further Reading:

A New and Improved FAFSA

Fill Out the FAFSA

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution.

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