Posted Date: January 21, 2009
Author: David A. Bergeron, Director, Policy and Budget Development Staff, Office of Postsecondary Education
Subject: Report to Congress on Efforts to Simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance
Date: January 16, 2009
On August 14, 2008, the President signed the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) (Pub. L. No. 110-315) into law, amending the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Section 483(f)(2) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, requires the Secretary of Education to submit to Congress a report on the Secretary's efforts to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Secretary Spellings transmitted the Report to Congress on January 16, 2009.
The Report, in its response to seven specific inquires asked by Congress, utilized analysis conducted by the Department in its determination that using just two data elements -- income and family size - to determine a student's eligibility for federal student aid would be feasible, equitable and verifiable. While reduction in data elements is an important step in the simplification process, the Report points out that such simplification cannot occur unless the Congress amends the need analysis formula in the HEA.
We have attached to this announcement copies of the materials that were transmitted to the Congress on January 16.