The education world was abuzz with financial aid news this week. The most valuable for prospective students was the announcement of new, streamlined FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online applications. When the new form goes online in January 2010, it will have lost 20 percent of the questions (the 2009 edition maxed out at a whopping 153). The Obama administration hopes that this new-and-improved form will enable more students to apply, as 1.5 million students who were eligible for Pell grants did not apply last year. And this is only step one. The next step in the administration's plan is to remove all questions about family assets and to allow families to use data they submitted in their tax forms.
Clearly, this is a good thing. Better FAFSA forms may mean that more students apply, then more students get the funding they need, and more students can get the education they want/need. Says president of the American Council on Education, Molly Corbett Broad, "There can be no doubt that simplifying the FAFSA as the department has proposed will be of tremendous benefit to thousands of students and their families."
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