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ANN-97-6 (APR 97) Concerned With the Growing Complexity of the FASFA

PublicationDate: 4/23/97
Summary: ANN-97-6 (APR 97) Concerned With the Growing Complexity of the FASFA
Author: OPE - Office of the Assistant Secretary for OPE


NOTE: This letter will only be posted electronically.
It will not be mailed to institutions.

April 23, 1997

ANN-97-6

.
Dear Colleague:

The financial aid community has for some time been concerned with
the growing complexity of the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA). A question has arisen with regard to the extent to
which the FAFSA could be simplified to address those concerns. To
that end, the Department has been working on a revised version of
the FAFSA. Our goal is to reduce the number of questions on the
FAFSA, to clarify the way those questions are asked, and ultimately
to reduce the overall burden of applying for Federal student
assistance.

As a continuation of this process, the Department wishes to invite
your participation in a public meeting to discuss this
simplification and burden reduction. We are interested in
soliciting your views on a number of issues related to the FAFSA,
including:

a. The purpose(s) of the FAFSA. The primary purpose of
the FAFSA is to collect data required for Federal need
analysis. The statute allows the inclusion of eight data
items for purposes of state financial aid programs. To
what extent should the FAFSA also accommodate the needs
of states and institutions for additional information?

b. The guidelines ED should use when adding or deleting
data elements on the FAFSA. That is, how should we
balance the issue of the need for the data with the issue
of the burden and complexity that results from collecting
the additional data?

c. The ease or difficulty with which students complete
the FAFSA as a result of its design and content, the way
questions are asked, and the length of the instructions
on the FAFSA.

The Department will hold public hearings on these issues at the
following three sites:

On May 2, 1997, at
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Room 200
899 10th Avenue
New York, New York 10019
(Contact George Chin or Phil Friedman
at (212) 290-5700)

On May 12,1997, at
Manchester Conference Center
Room 206A
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, California
(Contact Sister Dale Brown at (619) 260-2235)

On June 6, 1997 at
JC Penney Building
Room 101
University of Missouri-St. Louis
8001 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, Missouri
(Contact Jerry Joseph at (314) 516-6397)


Individuals who wish to provide oral statements should be prepared
to limit their remarks to five minutes. However, they may also
wish to prepare summaries of their remarks. In the event the time
allocated for these hearings is not adequate to hear from everyone
who has come with prepared remarks, ED will collect the written
statements and consider them as it continues this process of
collecting public comment.


Sincerely,



Elizabeth M. Hicks
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs

Last Modified: 08/16/1999